Macon City Council Pays $1.17 million for Emergency Communication Upgrade

Macon and Bibb County will now be more prepared if disaster strikes here in middle Georgia after an upgrade of the 911 Communications System.

Remember cell phones of the mid nineties, like the one Zach Morris used in saved by the bell, technology has come along way from that era with today’s smart phones blistering through the internet and keeping your facebook fresh. This contrast of technology is how Bibb County EMA director, Don Druitt describes the upgrade need for the Communications System of Bibb County.

“We’re going from an old cell phone in a box, to a digital blackberry with digital stream line capabilities,” said Druitt.

Druitt knows the importance of being ready and prepared for disaster and that’s why he spent months working to get an upgrade for E-911 dispatch and communications system.

Druitt worked with Macon City Council to put together a plan that appropriated 1.17 million dollars to upgrade communications and software from Motorola.

“If the police and the fire and the sheriff’s office can’t communicate amongst themselves or with the citizens of Macon and BibbCounty then we’re all in trouble,” said Macon City Councilman Larry Schlesinger.

The upgrade will include new subsystems, radios, and software upgrades and will provide stronger coverage to the county and reliability with the emergency management services. The upgrade provides better safety in case of disaster but also could help catch criminals.

“If a police officer was in a very stressful situation and needed to just hands free push the button, the mic would go live and they would be able to be identified back at the 911 center. Exactly who that officer is and find their location on a map and actually listen to that live mic for a while, while he may be pursuing a criminal,” said Druitt.

The upgrade will not only help Macon and BibbCounty it could also impact other counties in the surrounding area and improve their communication systems.

“We could actually allow a county that doesn’t have the full blown system to use those radios in their own county,” said Druitt.

The money appropriated by council will pay for phase one. After phase one is complete, the county will apply for regional grants to pay for the rest of the plan.

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