March 10, 2010 Edition

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McDaniel visits LawCo.,
impressed with 911 center



Attorney General Dustin McDaniel calls 911 to see the county's cell phone tracking capabilities in action during a visit to the Lawrence County Courthouse in Walnut Ridge on Friday. Paige VanBrook and other Communications Center employees showed McDaniel different technology that is used to help the center provide information to those responding to the scene of an emergency.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel visited Friday afternoon at the Lawrence County Courthouse, where he visited with employees and toured the county jail and Lawrence County Communications Center.

"I am very impressed with the 911 center," McDaniel said. "It was great to see them in action during an emergency."

In addition to watching the dispatchers assist responders with an accident that had occurred, McDaniel also was able to test the system's ability to track cell phone calls by dialing 911 himself from the center. In less than a minute the system had tracked him to his position.

According to Paige VanBrook, a dispatcher for Lawrence County, the county is one of only eight in the state that has implemented Phase II of technology upgrades that allow the tracking of a cell phone that has made a 911 call.

McDaniel, who is unopposed in his bid re-election, also visited with Sheriff Dan Ellison regarding the overcrowding of the Lawrence County Jail.

McDaniel said the problem is being experienced statewide, and at this time a solution has not been found.

"We know the answer - money," he said. "The question is where do we get it."

McDaniel also visited with other county officials and employees in the different offices at the courthouse.

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