The Governor’s Commission was created by executive order of the governor for the purpose of updating the 911 system. The current 911 funding model was created and authorized by the Georgia General Assembly in 1977 at a time when most homes and businesses had hardwire land telephone lines. In 1977 and since, monthly 911 charges were billed to the location that had the hardwire telephone lines and a charge of $1.50 per month was authorized, an amount that has not changed in 35 years. With the invention and growth of cell/wireless users, 911 Call Centers now handle most calls from this source which is not contributing to the costs of the system.
The Governor’s Commission will consider legislation, rules and regulations to update the 1977 law and make recommendations to Deal for presentation to the Georgia General Assembly during its 2013 Session.
Whitaker has been the director of Douglas County E911 since 1993 and previously worked with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department. He is a member of the National Emergency Number Association and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials. He is the current president of the Georgia 911 Directors Association, a position to which he was recently re-elected for his third consecutive term.
He is a graduate of the North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy, and has served as an instructor at the Fulton County Public Safety Training Center, the Clayton Regional Law Enforcement Academy, and the North Central Law Enforcement Academy.
“I am honored that Gov. Deal has appointed me to help with this task that is important to all 911 systems throughout the state. I appreciate his recognition of the inequities in the current system and his willingness to correct them to the benefit of all Georgia citizens.”
Deal noted that Whitaker has “extensive expertise and experience that he will bring to the Governor’s Commission and I appreciate his willingness to serve not only the residents of Douglas County, but all of the citizens of Georgia. I appreciate his service.”
Deal appointed 11 members to the Commission who are to meet and make recommendations to him in January.