Broward County to find funding for regional 911 system

System would consolidate city dispatchers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Broward County Commission voted against having cities help fund a regional 911 call system, instead opting to use money within the county's coffers.

Commissioners met Tuesday to discuss the MSTU plan, which they hoped would consolidate the current patchwork of city dispatches that can lead to confusion when cell phone towers misdirect emergency calls.

"When you call 911, they have to identify exactly where you are to save lives," said Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis.

Mayors and city managers weren't in favor of the plan because it required them to pay for part of the $42 million system. Commissioner Sue Gunzburger said the county needed to find the money for it instead.

"If we don't take care of public safety and make sure that our citizens are well protected, someone could lose a life and I've read some pretty horrible tales," she said.

Mayors and city managers agreed.

"I waive my time in light of Commissioner Gunzburger's comments," said Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan.

Commissioners voted 5-3 against the MSTU plan. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said he was relieved.

"It's the logical, safest way to go and I think today was a vote for public safety," he said.

Commissioners want to find a source of funding within two weeks.

A retired police dispatcher who worked in Miami-Dade County for 21 years said he supports the regional 911 call system.

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