Double Stupid Slap To Holmes County Flordia Sheriff Tim BrownRickey Stokes
Posted by: Thomas Azar
Date: Apr 07 2013 3:47 PM
Written By Rickey Stokes
HOLMES COUNTY FL: When I started on the advisory board of Dothan – Houston County 911 Board, I started thinking of how to solve inter-agency communications. A common problem and issue exists among agencies being able to effectively communicate in seconds.
My case in point is when former Alabama Football player Siran Stacy and his family were involved in an accident in Houston County. The accident, which involved a vehicle traveling on the wrong side of road on Highway 84 West of Dothan, claimed the lives of Siran’s wife and several of his children.
The initial 911 calls came into the 911 Center when the vehicle was between Brannon Stand and The Highlands. The caller said the vehicle was going towards Daleville and calls were transferred to Daleville 911. As more calls came in as the vehicle progressed it was determined the vehicle was actually in Houston County.
Within two miles of the accident scene Alabama State Trooper Bender was working. Trooper Bender never received word there was a vehicle traveling on the wrong side of the road. Trooper Bender never knew anything until after the accident occurred. Had the word been put out on the radio where Trooper Bender could have heard the call, then perhaps Trooper Bender could have intercepted the vehicle and prevented the accident which claimed the Stacey family lives.
That question will never be something we will be able to answer.
Since that accident Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes has bought and had installed in the Alabama State Trooper cars radios where the Troopers can talk with and monitor Houston County Sheriff primary radio. Sheriff Hughes requires his dispatchers to monitor CAD ( computer aided dispatch ) to make sure information in Dothan is broadcast to the deputies.
My Solution, Which Gives A STUPID SLAP To Holmes County Florida Sheriff Tim Brown
While on the 911 board and thinking of how to solve inter-agency communications, my idea was to place a mobile radio in surrounding communications centers. The Dothan – Houston County 911 had purchased over $ 700,000.00 worth of Dothan radios under a grant.
My plan, approved this past May, to have 20 mobile radios programmed on 1 talk channel, programmed with a minimum volume level of 3 so dispatchers could not turn the volume down. Then place these radios only in the communications centers to allow rapid radio communications with surrounding communications centers.
These radios were to be placed in the following communications centers: (1) Alabama State Troopers Communications Center in Dothan (2) Dothan Police Communications Center (3) Houston County Sheriff Communications Center (4) Ashford Police Communications Center (5) Headland Police Department (6) Abbeville Police Department which also dispatches Henry County Sheriff Department (7) Midland City Police Department (8) Ozark – Dale County 911 which dispatches Ozark Police, Ozark Fire, all Dale County Volunteer Fire and Rescue agencies, Dale County Sheriff Department, Newton Police, Pinckard Police, Level Plains Police and Ariton Police (9) Daleville Police (10) Enterprise Police (11) Ft. Rucker Military Police (12) Elba Police which also dispatches Coffee County Sheriff (13) 34 Central in Geneva which dispatches Slocomb Police, Geneva Police, Samson Police, Geneva County Sheriff Department and all volunteer fire and rescue throughout the county except Hartford Police (14) Hartford Police (15) Holmes County Sheriff Department in Bonifay Florida (16) Washington County Sheriff Department in Chipley Florida (17) Jackson County Sheriff Department in Marianna Florida (18) Seminole County Sheriff Department in Donalsonville Georgia (19) Donalsonville Georgia Police Department (20) Early County Sheriff Department in Blakely Georgia.
NOTE: Florida Highway Patrol and Georgia State Patrol dispatch centers are to far away for the radios to operate.
The only cost for each department would be a $ 108.00 power supply and to have the radio installed in the communications center. Probably a total cost of $ 500.00 for complete installation.
This would allow rapid deployment of information within the 20 communications centers in seconds.
Information such as the vehicle traveling the wrong direction on Highway 84 that could possibly have saved the Stacey family, when the Headland Police Officer was killed and the Henry County Sheriff Deputy was shot, when the Dale County School bus driver was killed and child taken hostage, when the Samson Alabama shooter was on a killing spree and ambush of law enforcement center.
This was urgent information during an emergency which needs to be relayed for help to roll.
QUESTION: A number of years ago there was a gunman in Samson that killed several people. The gunman traveled from Samson to Geneva, shooting at law enforcement officers. Guess what, Geneva County borders Holmes County Florida.
That gunman could have just as easily left Samson and traveled to Holmes County Florida. Should emergency rapid deployment of information have been needed between Geneva County and Holmes County, this would have been good to have in place.
Holmes County Sheriff Tim Brown
I have since resigned from the board. The reason is – a lot of talk with little action. Months of talking, no plan of action, no direction of travel, and many egos.
My position approved in May 2012 was for this project to be completed in 30 to 45 days. The radio was installed in the Ozark – Dale County 911 Center promptly. But Dothan and Houston County did not even install their radios until January of 2013.
Holmes County Sheriff Tim Brown has declined the radio and will not install in his communications center. This is where the stupid slap is. This radio could save the lives of your deputies, citizens and others. They could allow the rapid apprehension of major criminals. And the cost is $ 500 or less for a free radio at a cost for the radio of over $ 1,000.00
Solving the inter-agency communications, in my mind saves lives. Is that not what Sheriff Tim Brown took an oath to do?
The other agencies that are dragging their feet, should have their rear kicked. No one ever planned on the events that took place in the Dale County School Bus Driver being ambushed, child taken hostage and held in a underground bunker for 6 days. But guess what, in seconds it happen and changed lives forever.
Communications Divisions is probably the most single important component in the emergency system network, and most emergency administrators, Sheriff’s/Police Chief’s/Fire Chief’s, it is the least looked at and managed.
Communications is the vital link from the public to emergency services and emergency services to additional assistance. It is the law enforcement, police, fire, EMS life line.
Sheriff Brown deserves a double STUPID SLAP
Click for phone audio when call Holmes County Sheriff Department on the phone. The current practice a communications officer in an emergency would have to do.