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Stokes Tells Houston County Commission NO

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 6491

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jun 08 2019 5:55 PM

DOTHAN - HOUSTON COUNTY:      The four years have passed quickly.

On August 23, 2019 anew person will be seated as a member of the City of Dothan - Houston County Communications Center. A nine member board that manages policy for the equipment only used to receive, dispatch and transmit emergency 911 calls.

In a new facility originally started  under the leadership of Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz and Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver. At the time of the design, financing and plans, the sitting board, being Mayor of the City of Dothan and sitting Dothan Commissioners, and Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver and Former Houston County Commissioner Jackie Battles.

Their leadership initiated the project. Serving alongside the Mayor, Chairman and Commission was a nine member Advisory Committee. Legislation changed that committee to the actual board.

I am forever appreciative that Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver, Commissioners Curtis Harvey, Doug Sinquefield, Former County Commissioner Jackie Battles and Commissioner Brandon Shoupe selected me as a Board Member. The position I held represented the entire Houston County. Because Dothan sits in Houston County, not Houston County in Dothan.

I have submitted a letter to the Houston County Commission that I do not desire to be on the board after the August 23 appointment ends. The trust and confidence they placed in me I very much appreciate. I trust my service has been a positive one and that I have never brought embarrassment to the Board, the Commission, the public or anyone involved. 

My passion is and always has been emergency service. The communications and 911 Center are the most important  link in emergency services and the least focused on by leadership.

What number besides 911 do you call for help?

The men and women who work in the 911 Center are the true connection to everything that happens. They are the connections to the public and responders, and are constantly under great pressure.

I also want to thank past and present Board Members. The fellow Board Members showed confidence in me when they elected me to serve as Chairman of the Board. I enjoyed that time and learned a lot about service and key positions.


Under Alabama Law the 911 systems are established different ways. The late Dothan Mayor Alfred Salbia and the late Houston County Commission Chairman Robert Crowder hammered out an agreement in the early 1990's about the 911 system. That was the beginning.

The 911 Center does not operate the communications centers and has zero authority over the operations. All the City of Dothan - Houston County Communications District Board does is own the facilities, funds the equipment and quickly assigns that equipment to the agency.

Dothan Steve Parrish has total control over the Dothan Police and Dothan Fire 911 Center. In fact, Dothan Fire Chief Larry Williams has zero control over the dispatchers. All must flow through Police Chief Parrish.

Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza has total control over the Houston County Sheriff 911 Center. There dispatch services are for the Houston County Sheriff Department, 17 Volunteer Fire, 5 Volunteer EMS, Pilcher Ambulance when responding in the county, Headland Rescue when responding in Houston County, all municipalities in Houston County with the exception of Dothan, the Houston County Coroner, and Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management.

The City of Dothan - Houston County Communications District Board owns the equipment if not reassigned to the appropriate agency. They are responsible for the phone ringing, the computer equipment identifying where that calls is located, and the call automatically transferred to the Sheriff or Dothan Police for dispatch.

The City of Dothan -- Houston County Communications District Board has no authority to dictate to the Sheriff or Chief of Police how they are to dispatch.

If interested in representing the entire Houston County on the City of Dothan-Houston County Communications District Board I would encourage you to contact Houston County Commissioner Chairman Mark Culver, 334-677-4740 or your County Commissioner.


E911 Letter No Re Appointment by on Scribd

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