Deal creates authority to oversee 911 services

[private]Gov. Nathan Deal said Thursday he has created a new state agency, the Local Government 9-1-1 Authority, that will oversee and coordinate the operation of 911 emergency systems used by police, firefighters, and ambulance services.

“For some time now, state and local officials have been exploring solutions to modernize our 9-1-1 system and improve our communications network,” said Deal.

Legislation was passed this year, SB 222, that would have created a state board to oversee 911 operations, but Deal vetoed the bill.

“While SB 222 attempted to address several current challenges, many of which I’ve incorporated into this executive order, it presented me with other concerns,” Deal said.

The board proposed in the Senate bill was hampered by “the lack of state oversight and coordination could hamper joint emergency response efforts, and the authority would also go unfunded for two years,” Deal said.

The governor will have legislation introduced next year to codify the newly created authority, which will become part of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) as of July 1. Michael Nix will be director of the new agency.

Deal appointed an advisory council for the 911 authority that includes:

Public Safety Commissioner Mark McDonough, Revenue Commissioner Lynne Riley, Instructional Services Division Director Cheryl Greathouse, Douglas County 911 Director Greg Whitaker, Barrow County 911 manager William Wright, Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn, Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash, Bartow County Manager Peter Olson, Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach, Sandy Springs City Manager John McDonough, Comcast Vice President Michael Wall, AT&T Assistant Vice President Kevin Curtin, Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock, Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan, and Atlanta Fire Chief Joel Baker.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: 911 emergency services , Nathan Deal , state authority