Boone County hires consultant to build new 911 center

BOONE COUNTY, Mo. - Currently, Boone County's 911 system is more than 20 years old with only one designated call-taker.

However, officials say the environment will change.

The Boone County Commission hired Pennsylvania consulting company Mission Critical Partners to design the new call center.

Presiding commissioner Dan Atwill says the firm has the expertise to build a new 911 center complete with the latest technology.

"We have to do everything right and people who've done this before have a lot more experience in all the details than we could ever have," said Atwill.

The projected date of completion is in 2015.

"We are looking at a two-year schedule from today out, but we suggested to the county that their schedule might be a bit aggressive given everything that needs to be done," said Lawrence Bickford, vice president of Mission Critical Partners.

The first step, he says, is making sure the proposed site behind the Boone County Jail fits building requirements.

"We are going to be asking for due-diligence reports or studies that have been done on that site, like environmental, subsurface conditions, so there are all kinds of things you have to do to make sure the site is ready to build a building," said Bickford.

Other requirements include controlled parking, a safety area around the building at least 85 feet wide, and it must withstand a mid-Missouri tornado threat.

Bickford tells ABC 17 News that he hopes to examine the property by Thursday.

Atwill wants to reinforce voters the point that Mission Critical Partners will help officials but told ABC 17 News, "The county remains in control of the whole operation; they are consultants. They will give us their recommendations. We have the ability to accept or reject their recommendation."

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