The Dyer County E911 board held its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 29 to take care of some old business and receive an update on the CAD mobile data project. The board discussed the purchase of radios for the Dyer County constables in order to make them compliant with a Federal Communications Commission mandate that required radios to narrowband. The matter was discussed at the board's last meeting in November and was tabled until it could be confirmed that the purchase of the radios was a legal expense for the board.
"The issue was, are the constables first responders," said Treasurer Jeff Burns, who chaired the meeting in Chairman Bobby Williamson's absence. "It turns out the question is not 'are they first responders,' it's 'are they directly dispatched by the 911 center?' And the answer is, yes they are."
Burns read an email from the state attorney's office that confirmed that the expenditure was legal if the board chose to pursue it. Vice Chairman Jason Roberts moved that since the expenditure was legal that the board approves the purchase of 10 portable radios and their speaker mikes in the amount of $9,562 from West Tennessee Communications. The motion was seconded by Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box and unanimously approved.
Williamson, who was not present for the initial discussion but came to the meeting late, asked if the board discussed the radios and if the state confirmed the legality of the purchase in writing. Burns confirmed that they did in fact have the ruling in writing as proof in the event an auditor questioned the expense.
Dyer County Commissioner Benny Spain, who was formerly on the E911 board, was also present at the meeting to speak in support of the purchase of the constable radios.
"We appreciate what the 911 committee stands for and keep up the good work you are doing," said Spain.
The board moved on to discuss the purchase of more radios, this time for the Trimble Fire Department. According to Burns, Dyer County Fire Chief James Medling had pointed out that the board took care of the Trimble Police Department in updating their radios to be narrowband compliant but had neglected the TFD. Medling told them to purchase the radios and he would present the receipt for reimbursement. Burns asked for a motion to reimburse the purchase of two radios at $1,360. Williamson asked if the board were audited who would be responsible for the radios.
"I'm not against the purchase but someone needs to be responsible for them if we are audited," said Williamson.
Burns responded that because the board was making an impact payment to Trimble they would be responsible for the radios and an auditor would have to go to Trimble to verify their existence. Williamson moved that the board reimburse Trimble for the cost of the radios with Medling adding a second. The motion was approved without opposition.
The board next heard an update from Dyersburg Emergency Operations Manager Mark Grant on the CAD mobile project. Grant told the board that the hardware for Dyer County and Newbern is en route and that the installation should begin in the next couple of weeks. Grant reported that about the time that the hardware comes in, the Dyersburg units would be going online. Grant explained that Dyersburg will bring one unit online and once the bugs are worked out that hard drive would be copied as many times as was needed. The standards would then be recorded onto an Excel spreadsheet to match future terminals.
"It will be around March when Dyersburg comes online," said Grant. "The installation for Newbern and Dyer County will be a breeze compared to Dyersburg."
Burns asked what the training plan was for the officers so that "the mobile data terminals would not become mobile dinner trays". Grant responded that it would be up to each agency to determine how to properly train their officers. Grant said that ADSI, the company overseeing the project, would dedicate a certain number of hours to training and each department can choose to send all their officers or to send trainers that would train the rest. Grant recommended to Box, Investigator Phillip Barton of the sheriff's department and Capt. Jim Richards of the Newbern Police Department that they discuss training plans with Sgt. Kenny Jowers who has taken the lead for the Dyersburg Police Department and has done a great job.
Prior to adjourning the board discussed the replacement of the tower located at the Dyersburg Emergency Operations Center by an unnamed vendor. According to Grant, it would be necessary for the vendor to construct a fence that would reside on the board's property. After some discussion the board unanimously approved on a motion by Medling and a second by Williamson to allow the vendor to build a fence on the board's property. The fence would become property of the E911 board once it is built and the board would be responsible for maintenance fees associated with the fence. Grant emphasized that there would be no cost to the board for the construction of the fence.