Bulloch County Public Safety and Emergency Management Director Ted Wynn is one of 15 people selected by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to participate in a 911 oversight committee.
The Local Government 9-1-1 Authority will be housed under the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. Deal’s executive order will come into effect July 1. Deal will introduce legislation codifying the authority during the 2018 legislative session, said Michael Nix, communications spokesman for Deal’s office.
Wynn and the others will serve on the Local Government 9-1-1 Authority Advisory Board.
“I thank the governor … for allowing me the opportunity to serve on the newly created Local Government 911 Authority,” Wynn said. “It will be an honor for me to assist in the shaping of the future for 911 systems across the state.”
The formation of the authority follows efforts to update the state’s 911 system, Deal said.
“For some time now, state and local officials have been exploring solutions to modernize our 911 system and improve our communications network,” he said. “This past session, legislation creating a semi-autonomous body to oversee 911 operations, fee collections and disbursements came to my desk. While SB (Senate Bill) 222 attempted to address several current challenges, many of which I’ve incorporated into this executive order, it presented me with other concerns.”
The lack of state oversight and coordination could hamper joint emergency response efforts, he said, “and the authority would also go unfunded for two years.
“However, I also recognized the need for better statewide service and announced my intention to create a Local Government 9-1-1 Authority that would be housed at and funded through GEMA/HS,” he said.
Deal said he is “grateful for the input and recommendations provided by local emergency response workers and officials, legislators and other stakeholders and look forward to working with the authority moving forward.”
Wynn said he feels the move will help improve 911 functions.
“Technology is changing so fast, and local 911 systems have struggled to keep up with this ever-changing technology due to funding,” he said. “Hopefully this will be addressed in our efforts as well as implementing ‘next generation’ 911 across the state. 911 is so important when an emergency occurs, and our citizens deserve the best there is.”
The Local Government 9-1-1 Authority Advisory Board is comprised of state agency heads, local elected officials and representatives from the public safety and law enforcement communities, as recommended by SB 222. Its members include, along with Wynn:
Col. Mark McDonough, Department of Public Safety commissionerLynne Riley, Department of Revenue commissionerCheryl Greathouse, Georgia Public Safety Training Center Instructional Services Division directorGreg Whitaker, Douglas County E-911 directorWilliam Wright, Barrow County E-911 managerCharlotte Nash, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners chairpersonPeter Olson, Bartow County managerEddie DeLoach, Savannah mayorJohn McDonough, Sandy Springs city managerMichael Wall, Comcast vice president of government and regulatory affairsKevin Curtin, AT&T assistant vice president of legislative affairsBilly Hancock, Crisp County sheriffBilly Grogan, Dunwoody police chiefJoel Baker, Atlanta fire chief
GEMA/HS Director Homer Bryson appointed Nix as the local government liaison and deputy director of executive appointments in the governor’s office. He will work closely with local government officials, agencies and other organizations to ensure local issues are addressed and will coordinate effective responses to their needs.