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News Releases

Contact: Jill Ulrich
Phone: (317)233-3199
Email:
julrich@auditor.in.gov
For Immediate Release:February 12, 2007
State Makes Special $8.1 Million Wireless 911 Distribution - Brings Total to Nearly $98 Million for Indiana Counties
(STATEHOUSE)—State Auditor Tim Berry today announced a special financial distribution to each of Indiana’s 92 counties, in effort to continue providing Hoosiers across the state with the highest level of wireless 911 service. As former Treasurer of State and Chair of the Wireless Enhanced 911 Advisory Board, Berry recommended that $8.1 million be distributed to Indiana’s counties. In December 2006, at Berry’s final meeting as Chair, the Board approved this recommendation.

The distributions to counties range from $15,512.95 for Ohio County to $1,037,677.99 for Marion County. The $8.1 million was collected from dollars that wireless customers paid in monthly surcharges into a wireless 911 fund, which wireless carriers then did not claim over the last eight years. This lump sum distribution is comparable to what the counties may normally receive over a period of six months.

Berry stated, “Counties are strapped trying to find dollars to support the current technology of 911. It seems only appropriate that this money be put to use by providing this necessary safety net for Hoosiers who need to dial 911 from their wireless phone.” He further stated, “In the past eight years, $98 million has been provided to Indiana’s counties to assist in upgrading their 911 systems so that they can both receive wireless 911 calls and know the location of wireless callers.”

Indiana has been recognized nationally for its leadership in wireless 911. Indiana Counties, Steuben and Allen, were the first in the United States to accept wireless 911 calls. Lake County was the second county in the nation to be able to identify the location of a wireless 911 caller.

Recently, a new 911 delivery network was built that allows for call transfer capabilities as well as the ability to text message 911 and send a camera-phone image to 911. Currently, Indiana is working with “On Star” so that 911 centers across the state can also receive an emergency 911 “On Star” call.

Berry closed by saying, “I am pleased that as former Treasurer of State, I had the opportunity to be part of this advancement in 911 technology and help our counties. Hoosiers should know that when calling 911, help is on the way.”

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