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Aug. 16 - Chatham County, City of Savannah Transition E911 Center to the Operation and Control of the County

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report


August 16, 2018 - In the Fall of 2017, Chatham County and the City of Savannah agreed to transfer the operation and control of the E911 Center from the City of Savannah to Chatham County. The goal of this transition is to promote improvements in public safety communications across all communities and stakeholders throughout Chatham County.

Since 2017, transition teams from both entities have been hard at work on items such as the transition of employees and upgrades in technology. The first action was for the County to have the Center’s operations evaluated by the Winbourne Consulting, LLC. All the municipalities, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, and end users of the E911 center, were asked to participate in the evaluation.

Based on recommendations from the Winbourne evaluation, Chatham County contracted with New Jersey based IXP Corporation for day-to-day leadership of the E911 Center, as well as, additional consulting services needed for the transition.

In June 2018, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners issued a Resolution creating the E911 Executive Advisory Board (EAB). Appointed Board Members are:

  • County Manager, Mr. Lee Smith, Chatham County (Board Chair)
  • City Manager, Mr. Rob Hernandez, City of Savannah (Board Vice-Chair)
  • Director, Mr. Dennis Jones, Chatham Emergency Management Agency (Secretary)
  • Sheriff John Wilcher, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office,
  • City Administrator, Mr. Charles Akridge, City of Bloomingdale
  • City Manager, Mr. Robbie Byrd, City of Pooler
  • Interim City Administrator, Mr. Phil Jones, City of Port Wentworth
  • City Manager, Mr. Ron Feldner, City of Garden City
  • Town Administrator, Mrs. Caroline Hankins, Town of Thunderbolt
  • City Manager, Mr. Shawn Gillen, City Manager
  • Superintendent, Dr. Ann Levett, Savannah Chatham County Public School System
  • Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Frank Davis, Chatham EMS

In the first Board meeting, the E911 Executive Advisory Board adopted a new governance structure for the E911 Center. This structure includes the Executive Board (members listed above), a Recommendations Review Committee which is comprised of area police and fire chiefs, and discipline specific subcommittees made up of users and other stakeholders of the system.

County and City officials are working to prepare for Next Generation E911 (updated software that will deploy nation-wide in 2020) and comply with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International standards.

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