- Few Southeast students face suspension, expulsion for sexual assaults, campus paper finds (4/25/17)6
- Perryville family organizing bone-marrow drive Friday for ailing 6-year-old boy (4/26/17)
- Woman battered after smashing boyfriend's meth pipe against wall, police say (4/25/17)1
- Pilot House goes smoke-free (4/23/17)10
- Temptations bassist dies after Cape Girardeau show (4/26/17)2
- Event includes the first public tour of 200-year-old Elmwood Manor (4/23/17)3
- BBB warns Jackson man's online business might not be legit (4/24/17)
- Cape couple turns their home into cozy, comfortable music venue (4/24/17)
- State Supreme Court rules against congressman's mother in dog-kennel defamation case (4/27/17)1
- Sikeston man charged in shooting death of Cape man (4/23/17)
Missouri 911 needs emergency help
To the editor:The ability for Missourians to contact emergency responders is crucial for the safety of our citizens. For most, dialing 911 is the logical course of action when faced with an emergency situation. Unfortunately if you are calling by cell phone in Missouri, there is a greater than two-thirds chance that emergency responders will not find you.
The ability for a caller to tell a dispatcher their location may be extremely limited considering the nature of the emergency. In these cases, first responders must rely on tracking technology to find the caller. However, gaps in the 911 system around Missouri leave that option highly unavailable to first responders.
According to a recent Missouri Homeland Security study, approximately 20 percent of Missouri's counties lack the ability to locate landline 911 calls and less than one-third can locate 911 cell phones callers. This striking deficiency is not only shocking, but dangerous. Ours is one of the worst in the nation and actions must be taken to correct this potentially life-threatening problem.
Recently, Gov. Matt Blunt has called for a joint legislative committee to travel the state and investigate the 911 situation. The public generally does not know just how much of the state is lacking fully functioning 911 capability. Twenty-one counties have no 911 capability. Support must be given to lawmakers to fund the technology needed for statewide 911 coverage. Investment in these technologies is one we must make to save lives.
MARK S. JAMES, Director, Missouri Department of Public Safety, Jefferson City, Mo.