City To Make 911 Changes

When disaster strikes, most people know help is just three numbers away. The 911 system in Montgomery is about to undergo some changes.>

Rob Stuart, the communications chief says, "What we plan on doing is taking this position right here which is a police dispatcher, who dispatches all the calls for police service for the city ... We will take this position and split it, geographically the city will be split into two parts."

By doubling their efforts, calls for help will find their way to the responding officer faster, "What this will do for us is to allow us to dispatch quicker, so that calls won't become bottle necked with one operator. And at the same time allow officers who need to call in for assistance to be able to get on the radio and not be impeded by the fact that the dispatcher is having to transmit to another unit ."

So what happens now if an officer needs help and a conversation is on the channel?

Stuart says, "So there is a red button on the radio he carries on his hip and in his car. If he pushes that button, then he preempts any other conversation."

A new channel can also benefit you in times of disaster, when you need help and you need it fast.

Stuart adds,  "When he calls in or when we have something like we had at the fun zone, then we can take a large number of calls in a very short period of time and get them to the officers."

He says the biggest cost will be in personnel. They will have to add 6 people to man the position 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That amount is about 200 thousand dollars.

Reporter:  Ashley Anderson