Plans to upgrade Wilson County 911 put on hold

Posted: 6:04 PM, Mar 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-12 23:21:42Z

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — Plans to upgrade Wilson County's 911 call system have been put on hold after multiple agencies involved say they don't agree with the details laid out in the plan.

As it stands right now, Wilson County is the only county in the entire state of Tennessee where 911 callers are first sent to a call center. Those call takers then must transfer 911 calls to either Mt. Juliet Police, Mt. Juliet Fire, Lebanon Police, Lebanon Fire, WEMA or the Sheriff's Office. Over the years some former officials have said the practice of transferring callers multiple time and forcing them to repeat vital information multiple times.

Over the last two years the Wilson County 911 agency has developed a plan which would co-locate dispatchers from agency into one building. While calls would still have to be transferred, officials say it would streamline the process by having everyone involved under one roof.

On Monday night though Mt. Juliet Police and Lebanon Police said they were pulling out of the plan. Mt. Juliet Police say they simply felt rushed into a proposal which would mean relocating 11 of their staff members to a different location.

"There were a lot of details that were not worked out yet so it was a bit of a surprise. We together as a city determined it's not advantageous for us to move forward with this right now," Captain Tyler Chandler said in an interview Tuesday.

Captain Chandler says he still believe the current system needs to be improved though. Citing the number of times some callers are transferred before a first-responsders can be dispatched.

"That may only be a few seconds and if they have to repeat information that creates a delay in response. The system in place right now works but it could be better," he said.

For now a $2 million plan to upgrade Wilson County's 911 call center to accommodate the additional staff has been put on hold.

"I'm very disappointment. It's a shame and it's heartbreaking to think of what we've spent time and money on," Director Karen Moore said.

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