You Can Tax My Cell Phone When You Pry It From My Cold, Dead Landline …
Actually, I really don’t mind the idea of a tax to improve 911 service throughout Missouri, but I do mind that people from areas that have 911 service are going to be taxed to give it to people who don’t. From the article in today’s Post and another on Missourinet (both of which I cribbed from Mr. Combest):
The other problem, according to Bruns, is the disparity of 9-1-1 access in metropolitan and rural areas of the state. He notes that 21 rural counties don’t have 9-1-1 systems.
Call me crazy (get it, call me???), but why don’t the residents of those 21 counties tax themselves to pay for 911 service? We’re not just talking cell phone locators in those 21 counties, we’re talking having no 911 service at all. But please, feel free to tax those of us in the other 93 counties (plus one independent city not within a county) to pay for their service. I realize, of course, that people travel, and when traveling around Missouri you would want responsive 911 service wherever you are at the time, not just back where you are from.
Half of Missouri’s counties lack the ability to track cell phone callers’ locations at all. Only 20 statewide can pinpoint a caller’s location, while some can find a general area.
Now that is something people throughout the state could, and perhaps should, pay for. Everyone would benefit from having better tracking of their cell phones for emergency purposes. (Except when the black helicopter UN troops use it to track us while riding up the North American Union Superhighway to enslave us all, but that is a different issue entirely.)
There is a very important part at the close of the Post-Dispatch article:
James also said 911 centers need to ensure wise use of new money they get, noting that in some areas, there’s a city and a county center within a few blocks of each other that could consolidate efforts.
Amen to that. There is no need for small cities or counties to have their own 911 service. Before the Legislature proposes any new taxes to fund improved 911 service, I hope they mandate a minimum population size for having your own center, or else you have to pay for it all yourself. Here in St. Louis County, some smaller cities have done some good things in consolidated 911 serice, which I wrote about here and here. This is from the Richmond Heights Police Department website:
In 2003 our dispatchers joined a dispatching consortium, housed in the Richmond Heights Public Safety building. The consortium, now called ECDC (East Central Dispatch Center), dispatches calls for Richmond Heights, Webster Groves, Maplewood, Clayton and Shrewsbury. Through this relationship with surrounding agencies, we believe that this will increase the level of service the we provide to our communities. The ECDC is supervised by director Paul Anderson.
This is absolutely what we need more of in Missouri and St. Louis County. These five cities deserve great credit for starting this, and other nearby municipalities, like Brentwood and Rock Hill, need to jump in. Then we can talk about raising taxes if it’s still necessary.