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In my opinion: Our county has been dropping the ball on a competent and efficient 911 calls center for decades. First 911 was in Coos Bay, North Bend tried too, then during state reorganization it mainly ended in Coquille at the County Sheriff's office. But a small part of it is still in Coos Bay. It was a dispute on how many call centers should we have and who gets the 911 state taxing moneys that we all pay. We should have only one per county. It should not be under or in the sheriff's office, or under a city, they each have enough duties.

In reality the best place for those moneys to go is into a stand-alone special district, in an earthquake resistant building in it's own location. An Emergency Communications Center District. It has been done successfully all over the state, all over the country. It takes money out of the hands of any one agency and puts it into ALL hands through a board of directors with a representative from EACH of the users. The board members can vary from 5 to 7 or more, and example might be a representative from city police, sheriff, structural fire, forest fire, ARES/RACES, infrastructure, and even a knowledgeable citizen. That way each of them with their own issues of dispatch to hard-to-reach areas can be addressed and compromises can be made. A group of heads together finding resources and ideas to work towards the now and the future avoiding disputes over who made bad decisions.

They would have more power as a group to reach out to our local college to assure offering a certificate or associate’s degree program in such fields as communications, public safety, or emergency management to ensure staffing of the best for 911 operators. From there they can attain state required training at the Dept. of Safety Standards and Training and in-house training at the Emergency Communications Center.

Our emergency responders know that good communications is the key to any successful emergency operation. I just hope that throwing more money at the current system is not a waste of resources and precious tax money.

Kathleen Hornstuen

Coos Bay

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