The Injustice of E911

Here are the two general things that have to happen for a 911 operator to be able to locate a distress call: (1) The wireless carrier has to install expensive, cutting edge technology to locate a connected cellular phone, and (2) The over 6000 US Public Service Access Points (PSAPs) need to upgrade their systems to that they can receive and use the location information the cellular system offers them. The carriers were forced to do (1) by FCC ruling, and they were also forced to collect a fee on the phone bill, and pass those revenues to local governments to use for (2). The carriers, although a little late, have spent wads of cash to do the difficult part (1), but the local governments have taken the revenues that the carriers sent them, and spent the money on boots – (no kidding, footwear!). Now, people are dying because these E911 location systems are not in place. So how do we punish the local governments for diverting funds? We offer them more money! That’s right, a bill proposed by Hillary Clinton and Conrad Burns would offer $500M per year to local governments who do not divert E911 funds going forward. There simply is no accountability in government, is there? Heads should roll for the travesty of diverting these funds for some 10 years, but instead, the Feds will use more cash to lure localities to do what they should have done anyway.

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