Elected officials in Crawford County and state representatives heard about possible E-911 reform that would affect the county if passed.
The Crawford County Intergovernmental Council met at Rudy Park on Wednesday, where Crawford County Judge Dennis Gilstrap spoke about the possibility of E-911 reform, which was also discussed during the Crawford County E-911 Advisory Board meeting June 12.
Gilstrap explained the Arkansas County Judges’ Association passed a resolution earlier this month to go to Gov. Asa Hutchinson stating that they support E-911 reform.
“Over the last several years, as you all know, landlines have gone away, cellphones have come in,” Gilstrap said. “I think it’s 69 cents or something that they’re looking to raise the assessments on that, for cellphones. My concern is that we have the three PSAPs (public safety answering points) then through the reform they’re talking about consolidating the PSAPs.”
Crawford County has public safety answering points, where 911 calls are answered, at the Van Buren Police Department, Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and Alma Police Department.
Gilstrap said the goal of 911 reform is to get someone in southeast Arkansas the same service that they get out of northwest Arkansas when they call 911.
Gilstrap said the reason behind the reform proposal stems for a call made to 911 by a liaison to the governor for the county judges association.
“He made a call down in Pulaski County, and he got transferred three times, and he had to tell the story three times, OK?” Gilstrap said. “That was a problem to him.”
Gilstrap said a person who was in Garland County reportedly had a similar experience. However, he said, Crawford County is not having that problem. Gilstrap has a big concern with consolidating the public safety answering points in Crawford County.
Gilstrap said he thinks the reform proposal will come to the Arkansas Legislature in the next legislative session.
Among those present at the meeting were State Reps. Charlotte Douglas and Charlene Fite.
The next Crawford County Intergovernmental Council meeting will be Sept. 19.