Board of Carroll County Commissioners approve Next Gen 9-1-1 readiness assessment

A public safety consultant is expected to come into Carroll County to assess its readiness to upgrade its 9-1-1 system, and finish its work by April 1, 2019.

The Board of Carroll County Commissioners approved the readiness assessment, which will be performed by Mission Critical Partners, on Friday, Dec. 14.


“Next Generation 9-1-1 is something we have been planning for, trying to prepare for, probably for a couple of years now,” said Scott Campbell, director of the county Department of Public Safety.

NextGen 9-1-1 is a digital or Internet Protocol [IP]-based 911 system, an upgrade from the original analog 911 technology. Public safety answering points [PSAPs] across the country are being upgraded to improve the reliability and efficacy of the 911 system, and Campbell said the assessment will help the county see what it needs to make the switch.

PSAPs using Next Gen 9-1-1 will have “a faster, more resilient system that allows voice, photos, videos and text messages to flow seamlessly from the public to the 911 network,” the 911 government website states.

“NG911 will also improve PSAP ability to help manage call overload, natural disasters, and transferring of 911 calls and proper jurisdictional responses based on location tracking.”

Although most recently discussions about Next Gen 9-1-1 involved Commissioner Richard Weaver, R-District 2, and his hope to get a training facility moved into the former North Carroll High School, Campbell told the Board of County Commissioners the Department of Public Safety has seen a move to the new system on the horizon for some time.

“It’s not a new concept, but something we’ve tried to really focus on much more so in the last couple of years,” he said. “To that point, we believe the next best choice for Carroll County, the next best step for us, is to maintain Missions Critical Partners to perform this assessment so we can see where are we are in our efforts, and [create]... a strategic roadmap to where we need to be.”

Campbell said the assessment is expected to be finished by April 1, and that the county will have no obligation to take further steps at that time.