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Henry County responds to Century Link statement on 911 call that led to Officer Morton's death

The Henry County 911 Emergency Communications Chairman is responding to CenturyLink's statement on the 911 call that ultimately led to the death of Officer Christopher Ryan Morton

On Thursday, CenturyLink issued a statement saying they completed their investigation and determined that CenturyLink provided the correct phone number and address.

In a statement to the Clinton Daily Democrat, Dr. Kenneth Scott, Henry County 911 Emergency Communications Chairman, said their 911 center couldn't accurately map the call. He said that happens when the location provided by CenturyLink doesn't match their internal data. 

Scott said they are now in the process of comparing the addresses in their 911 system with all of the addresses in CenturyLink's database. 

As ABC 17 News previously reported, a trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed the 911 call dispatch received was traced back to Windsor, Missouri-a town 15 miles from Clinton. It did not originate from the home where Officer Morton was shot. 

Two other officers were injured in the shooting. The suspect, James Waters, was found dead inside the home. Officer Morton is the second Clinton officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty in the past year. 

Henry County 911 Emergency Communications Full Statement: 

We were informed March 15 that our 911 trunk provider, Century Link, has completed the investigation that we requested into the location data associated with the 911 call on March 6. They have stated the correct address had been attached to the number from their company’s Master Street Address Guide (ALI data).

Also, on March 15, our software vender which supports our CAD software and Geographic Information System mapping, has informed us their investigation, also requested by us, showed our GIS map’s internal Master Street Address Guide had a discrepancy in this location and was unable to map the call on our tele-communicator’s map screen. This inability to map accurately occurs when the location data provided by Century Link does not exactly match the internal data associated with the mapping software.

We are in the process of contracting with our software vendor to complete a comparison between all of the addresses in our system with all of the addresses in Century Link’s database in our 911 service area, to determine if there are other mismatches and to correct any that are noted. Although a major project, we will complete it as soon as possible.

The majority (75%) of 911 calls received by us originate from cell phones. The technology to locate a cell phone call uses triangulation from cell towers and results in a GPS coordinate location on the dispatcher’s map, not a street address, and does not utilize these databases. Our 911 Center uses Phase 2 cell phone interrogation which usually results in locating those cell phone calls to within 50 feet, depending upon cell tower availability.

Henry County 911 answers 14,000 911 calls per year and 15,000 administrative calls, most of those associated with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department or Clinton Police Department and consistently answers those calls within four seconds.

In all 911 calls, whether cell or land line, the dispatcher will confirm with the caller the location of the incident. That verification is not available when the call is an “open line” call in which no one is responding to the dispatcher.


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