Letters to the Editor

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911: It’s your call

Letter by Gary Lee Aleshire, Jr., University Place on Oct. 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm with 10 Comments »
October 28, 2011 9:06 am

Remember the rotary phone? Touch tone and wireless phones? Now we have cellular, Bluetooth, voice over internet, instant messaging, texting, and even video conferencing. What is the next gadget that will bring new opportunities and that we must have in order to keep up with the “Joneses”?

As a multiple user for requesting services through 911, I was relieved and grateful that there was a response to my need. Yet, many of our daily communication devices cannot be used to request life saving assistance because of the rapidly changing technology and lifestyles of today’s modern electronic “toys.” So I ask you why you would not consider approving the proposal for upgrading the E911 emergency communications?

Unfortunately for our access points for emergency services, there is a cost. To modernize and allow our responders to receive critical communications from the multitudes of technologies will require millions of dollars. This is the first holistic redesign of Pierce County communications. In addition, the disparate centers and radio systems utilized by the police, fire, medical, and disaster organizations have come together to reduce the many centers into two that will manage all of Pierce County’s 911 services (except Puyallup police and Buckley police and fire).

I encourage you to recognize the need and support this effective and efficient request by voting for the E911 proposition. It just may be the call you need to make that this money will help answer.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. We can get the benefits by purchasing new communications equipment with a cost for ALL areas in Pierce County of $35,000,000. There is no proven need for 2 dispatch centers over the existing system. They talk about having a backup center in case of a catastrophic event but an earthquake would probably impact both of these centers based on the projected sites. Multiple sites as we currently have would be more likely to be able to operate.

    The federal mandate is going to require the various government agencies to purchase the new equipment. Proposition 1 is just the counties way of putting the burden for a new state of the art system on the taxpayers while allowing some of these agencies to reduce the amount of money they need to commit to the 911 system. There is at least $125,000,000 from this proposition that will go to cover operating costs that are currently funded by local government. This is a tax increase hidden in a proposition. Do the research! Vote NO.

  2. Really911 says:

    What Gary leaves out here is that the recent increase in the 911 tax on your phone bills both cell and land lines is specifically for the upgrade to technology in order to be able to receive these text messages, and videos. And we already receive VOIP calls. Why would the citizens pay twice for this piece that he refers to.

    His point about the this servicing everyone except Puyallup and Buckley, is also false. It will not service Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Sumner, Buckley or Orting either. And will put financial stress on cities like Roy who have such a small tax base that they can’t afford to pay the fees to this new monopoly. The people that are pushing this plan are the people that will benefit from it and control the money.

    Come back with a plan that truly benefits the tax payer and it will be considered but the idea that we should pay up to 600 million to fix a 30 million dollar problem with radios is just rediculous.

    Some months back I read a response to 1 of these articles posted by another responder. He said..To give Pierce County more money is like giving an alcoholic another bottle of booze…I agree..


  3. chhannon says:

    If public safety organizations need to upgrade their communications equipment, then their leaders should make it a priority in the current budget. Instead, they fund other things like fire boats, dive teams and other special programs that are “sexy” but are luxuries when compared to basic tools such as radios. Also, the only reason that we have disparate radios is because of poor planning and the burueacracy of the existing organizations. Why should we pay for their past mistakes? If new radios and 911 centers will make public safety more efficient, then it should reduce operating costs. Fund the investment through this cost savings, not a tax increase. VOTE NO!

  4. LarryFine says:

    “Bluetooth, voice over internet, instant messaging, texting, and even video conferencing” have absolutely nothing to do with the issue.

  5. JimmyEOlson says:

    Typical liberal thinking: We have a need and must do “something”, so whatever plan that comes up we must approve. Don’t think about it, analyze the pro’s and con’s, determine the plan’s cost-effectiveness, noooo. Just vote for it and your brain will release some endorphines. AHHHHHH!

  6. Really911 says:

    LarryFine is correct, these things mentioned have nothing to do with the issue. Video images, and texting are paid for with the tax increase on your cell bill.
    And to include “bluetooth” in that is rediculous anyway because a bluetooth is not an additional way to call 911. Cell phone/bluetooth…same thing….That is like bringing in the handset for your home phone. DUH !!

  7. LarryFine says:

    Who “texts” or “videos” to 911 when they have an emergency (or otherwise) ?

  8. Really911 says:

    Well LarryFine, That is the plan for the future. We already have the equipment in our equipment room to receive it. As rediculous as it sounds it is true, and you and I are paying for it whether we like it or not. Check your phone bill, your 911 tax went up.
    This technology is going to be another chance for the public to say 911 screwed up my call for help. Can’t wait !

  9. ItalianSpring says:

    NO- on all new taxes, and NO on continuing any others. Time for government to do with what it already gets, just like us.

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