(Press Release Issued by Taney County Commissioners Office)
Taney County, Missouri, April 12, 2010: The U.S. Department of Justice has approved a COPS Technology Program grant in the amount of $400,000 for the White River Emergency Communications Project. The project is a result of the 911 Advisory Board which is a conglomeration of all police, fire, and EMS services within Taney County including the Taney County Sheriff, Branson Police and Fire, Hollister Police, Forsyth Police and Fire, Rockaway Beach Police, Western Taney County Fire, Central Taney County Fire, Cedar Creek Fire, Bradleyville Fire, and Taneyville Fire.
Ron Houseman with the Taney County Office of Economic Development received notification from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Orienting Policing Services last week. Houseman said “Several agencies within Taney County have been working together to create a sophisticated data communications network in Taney County for the use of First Responders, Police, Fire, and EMS. This is the second $400,000 award the county has been granted toward the project”.
Houseman said “This is a huge undertaking when you realize the Steering Committee is hoping to equip 197 emergency vehicles in order to effectively enhance public safety in all of our communities. This equipment will provide our personnel abilities to access critical information while they are in the field when they most need it”.
Houseman commented “The grant is an excellent example of how numerous agencies and individuals can truly work together for the betterment of all our citizens. Several agencies have been involved in this project, however I should note that Detective Sean Barnwell with the City of Branson, and Sheriff Jim Russell were instrumental in the promotion of the concept. Congressman Roy Blunt should also be recognized for championing this project in Washington DC on behalf of Taney County”.
Sean Barnwell stated “It is excellent news that we have been funded for a second year. This project will provide profound changes to the safety and productivity of law enforcement officers and first responders in Taney County by providing the mission critical data directly to the responders in the field. This project is working to link all first responders for true interoperable communications, and will keep the officers on the streets as opposed to in the station completing their reports”.
Sheriff Jim Russell commented “The new equipment will greatly assist in better response times, safety for both the citizens and officers, and more information to emergency responders. It will give the ability to ‘track’ deputies and officers locations on a map while they are patrolling Taney County. Dispatch will know immediately of any dangers such as chemicals, explosives, violence, etc”. Russell noted “The equipment will provide the ability to transmit without scanners picking up sensitive personal information”. Russell also stated that he appreciates the cooperation of all the agencies involved in the project. And he especially thanks Congressman Roy Blunt for his assistance in securing the funding for the project.