911 recorder loses its backup

Friday, March 4, 2011

Operations continue at Lewisburg's police and fire dispatch room much as they have in recent years, but there's a layer of security that's fallen away because of age.

A DVD "writer" for the emergency 9-1-1 calls failed Jan. 28, so they system is without a backup recorder, according to Lewisburg Police Communications Supervisor Alissa Kruger.

"We're having trouble finding a replacement," Kruger said. "They don't make them any more."

Every emergency communications district that receives money from 911 fees on phone bills has a 911 Board. It oversees the administrative and technical aspects of the public safety service.

One company bought all of the parts from the manufacturer of the equipment in the city's communications room, Police Chief Chuck Forbis told the board at its meeting in the Hardison Office Annex on College Street.

Officials at that company knew the parts would be out of production, Forbis said.

John Smiley, right hand man for county Roads Superintendent Jerry Williams, is on the 911 Board recalled that resolving a previous equipment issue cost some $30,000.

Kruger indicated costs might be $500 this time if parts can be obtained.

Forbis concurred. The price might appear to be lower.

"You're not actually replacing the hard drive," the chief said.

Discussion among members of the board delved into the complexities and jargon of computer equipment and police terminology, but in the end, 911 Board Chairman Chris Gilbert called for a decision. Purchases that cost no more than $1,500 were authorized on that Wednesday morning of Feb. 16. As of noon Thursday, the issue had not been resolved.