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Mayor's Office Heading City Letter Head

February 20, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Julie Righter, 911 Center Manager, 441-7252


Mayor Don Wesely today led the dedication of Back-up Emergency Communications/911 Center for Lincoln and Lancaster County. The back-up center in northwest Lincoln would be used any time the primary communications center in downtown Lincoln would be unable to operate.

“One of the big lessons of the September 11th terrorist attacks was the importance of communication,” said Mayor Wesely. “If our primary center was shut down by a natural or man-made disaster, this back-up center would be ready to provide the communications services essential to public safety. This is an important step in improving our community’s safety and security.”

The City’s Capital Improvement Program included $200,000 for the back-up center. Emergency Communications/911 Center Manager Julie Righter said personnel will be trained at the new center and can be assigned to that location as needed. The back-up center will not be staffed when it is not in use so no additional personnel are needed.

The need for a back-up center was highlighted in February 2001 when wet phone cables interrupted 911 service for about four hours. The back-up center was already being planned at that time, and Alltel has now installed additional cables to the City and County offices.

“With security concerns on everyone’s mind, this back-up center adds an additional level of service and safety for our community.” said Wesely.

Participating in today’s dedication and ribbon-cutting were Righter, Police Chief Tom Casady and Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner.

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