If 911 doesn’t work overnight, the Pima County sheriff has a backup

2014-03-15T17:29:00Z If 911 doesn’t work overnight, the Pima County sheriff has a backupKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 15, 2014 5:29 pm  • 

Chances are 911 callers living in the county won’t notice any difference early Sunday morning when the sheriff’s department officially begins operations in a new dispatch center.

But administrators don’t want to leave anything to chance.

So, as an additional layer of preparation, in the event callers in unincorporated Pima County or the Town of Sahuarita are unable to connect to 911 between about 3 and 4 a.m. Sunday, they can reach emergency services at 520-351-6911, said Chief Paul Wilson, of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

Overnight, Pima County Sheriff's Department dispatch will move from East Benson Highway to a new 911-dispatch center at East 22nd Street and South Alvernon Way.

Technicians from CenturyLink and the sheriff’s department will be on-site to oversee the change-over of 911 calls from the old location to the new center, monitor system performance and address any issues that might arise, Deputy Tracy Suitt, spokesman for the PCSD, said in a news release.

“The benefits for 911, largely are that we have the facility and technology to carry us into the future and redundant back up facilities,” Wilson said. “If we had some kind of building emergency where we had to evacuate, we could go to city facility and resume operations and the city can do the same thing with our facility.

“It’s designed to meet a 20 year need. We should have adequate space to carry us into the future,” he said.

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