Chatham County delays 911 Call Center takeover

Chatham County delays 911 Call Center takeover
(Source: WTOC)

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Chatham County has delayed its takeover of Savannah's 911 Call Center.

The county is already paying for it, but won't oversee operations until 2019. Chatham County will soon oversee these dispatchers and this building, but that change isn't coming as quickly as expected.

"Six months, it's a delay and it's not a delay," said Al Scott, Chairman, Chatham County Commission.

The county started paying for the 911 Dispatch Center in January and was slated take over operations and transfer personnel on July 1st. After commissioners' votes on Friday, the county won't manage it until Jan. 1, 2019.

"We thought we would end it in January for a clean sweep in terms of folks' W2s, and then we'll go from there with the new management. By that time, hopefully, we'll be able to do a little bit of renovation and update of equipment," Scott said.

The county's not deciding how to move forward alone. It's hired Virginia firm Winbourne Consulting, LLC to access the call center's needs, especially staffing, to figure out how better serve you during an emergency.

"Moreso than not having enough employees, there's a high turnover rate. We've got to do something to address that, so we can have stability of experienced employees at all times," Scott said.

The county is reviewing a draft of that study now but says it likely won't release the findings or any decisions for a couple of weeks.

The 911 Center handles emergency calls for all of Chatham County, except Tybee Island, and right now, Savannah Police respond to all of the calls. Both city and county leaders have said they'd like a separate, professional director running the center.

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