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28 Missouri counties unable to locate wireless 911 callers

January 1, 2019

A December 2017 report by the Missouri Department of Public Safety said 28 of Missouri’s 114 counties lacked the ability to identify the location of callers seeking 911 emergency help.

Sixteen Missouri counties had only basic 911 service, with call centers that lacked 911 answering equipment and were unable to identify a caller’s location or name. Those counties included: Bollinger, Carter, Cedar, Clark, Dent, Douglas, Hickory, Mercer, Oregon, Ozark, Ripley, St. Clair, Schuyler, Scotland, Shannon and Wayne.

An additional 11 counties had equipment capable of identifying the location and name of a caller on a landline phone but not of a caller on a wireless phone. Those counties included: Bates, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Linn, Howard, Maries, Mississippi, Montgomery, Perry, Pemiscot and Reynolds.

Holt County had equipment able to identify a wireless phone caller’s number, cell tower and sector but not the caller’s exact location.

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A Missouri law taking effect Tuesday imposes a surcharge on prepaid wireless phone service to help fund 911 emergency call centers. The law included an opt-out provision for local governments.

Those opting out include the city of Warrenton and the counties Audrain, Barry, Carroll, Cass, Dade, Dallas, Daviess, Henry, Howell, Jefferson, Johnson, McDonald, Osage, Platte, Saline, Stone, Webster and Wright.

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