Since 1986, Idaho cellphone users have paid a $1 monthly fee, known as E-911, to help fund the cost of emergency 911 service. And now, the Idaho Statewide Interoperability Executive Council wants to double the fee, to generate enough revenue to help state and local law enforcement purchase new radios and fund dispatch staffing. The increase would need to be approved by the Idaho Legislature.
This morning's Idaho Mountain Express reports that regional law enforcement agencies, such as the Blaine County Sheriff's Department, are faced with maintenance fees totaling $32,000 annually and $80,000 biannual software upgrades, in order to maintain a 700 megahertz radio system, mandated for state law enforcement agencies.
"We need to find some kind of funding to sustain what we're doing," Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey told the Mountain Express. "The [Idaho] Legislature is going to convene and we need to strike while we can."