911 upgrades, funding go to cities

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett officials made moves this week to share funding and equipment with city police departments for 911 services.

The actions fulfill promises made during the settlement of a three-year-long service dispute with cities, which were settled in court earlier this year.

While the work of a 911 study group is not complete, commissioners set up a $1.5 million fund from E-911 funds, paid on phone bills, to reimburse city police forces for the salaries and expenses of dispatchers.

While every 911 call made in the county goes to a 911 center run by Gwinnett County Police, police calls within cities that have their departments are forwarded on to city dispatchers, who relay the information to officers.

County officials agreed to share the 911 funding to pay for those expenses, although a study group has another two months to decide how the money will be divided.

The one exception is Lilburn, where officials decided to use county dispatchers to relay information to their officers, instead of taking the payments from the county. Commissioners agreed on the change Tuesday.

In another vote Tuesday, commissioners also agreed on a contract for AT&T 911 system equipment, which will give city dispatchers the same equipment as county ones, such as address locators. The $472,750.50 cost will come from the E-911 fund.