ARDMORE, Ala. — Earlier this week Ardmore council approved a contract with the Limestone County 911 dispatch service. "We've entered into an agreement with Ardmore, Alabama and Tennessee to provide Dispatch service for both towns," Athens/Limestone County Chief Executive Officer RV White said.
Ardmore will be paying $77, 250 yearly for the Limestone County 911 dispatch service, and will pay a one time fee of $38,900. The fee will help pay for new equipment and training. The one time fee will also allow them to get one dispatcher trained on the National Crime Information Center; also known as NCIC.
White said he will be paying for every dispatcher to get NCIC certified, so they can all take 911 calls.
He said they've been in talks with Ardmore for a while, and said the town approached them. He said they have a lot of equipment and resources that Ardmore doesn't have.
Ardmore Mayor Billy Shannon said the point of the new contract is to simply improve response times.
Ardmore Dispatcher Tonya Holley has worked for the town's dispatch service for two years. Holley feels strongly the new contract with Limestone County 911 will slow response times.
"So if someone in Tennessee calls they`re going to Giles County, Giles county is going to have to transfer it to Limestone County, then Limestone is going to have to dispatch it. As it is now, when they call us we`re right here. We dispatch them right here," Holley said.
White said he can't speak to everyone's criticism, but said they have a system that works well and quick. "We will have a call; then the call will be taken, and we will have a person assigned to dispatch to Ardmore Police Department; who will push that button on the radio and talk directly to the officer in Ardmore," White said.
Dispatcher Holley is also upset because her and the other four dispatchers that currently work in Ardmore will be out of an job in six months if the contract is approve.
RV White said he doesn't know what the future holds for the current Ardmore dispatchers, but he would be willing to hire them. If they can go through the training, pass all of the tests, and if the need is there.
On Friday, December 16th Limestone County 911 and the town of Ardmore will meet again to finalize the contract. If both parties agree; then Limestone County 911 will absorb Ardmore's police dispatch in six months.