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Connects Against Crime

Connects Against Crime

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Connects Against Crime: Law Enforcement Take Pay Increase for 911 Service to Voters

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:16 PM CDT

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- Making a call to 911, if you didn't know comes at a price.

"We're trying to raise the surcharge from 25 cents to 50 cents," says Harry Daugherty, Marion Chief of Police. 

But if that happens or not depends on how Linn County voters vote at the polls on election day.

More people are using cell phones over landlines and police communication equipment rely on the money that surcharge provides, that's why law enforcement agencies in Linn County say they need your vote.  
The Chief says that's because the money helps maintain and purchase the equipment used to respond to emergencies. The shift from old-fashioned land lines to cell phones has affected that critical cash flow.

"We're not bringing in as much money as we use to bring in so in order to keep the equipment where we need to, it's really important," Daugherty said. 

Of Iowa's 99 counties, Linn County has the second lowest surcharge at 25 cents.
Scott County has none at all.
By the numbers at least 80 percent of the state charges near one dollar or more.

"We're just trying to get up to 50 cents, which still wouldn't 80 percent who's usually at a dollar," says Daugherty. 

But even if voters don't agree with the increase, the service will not go away.
Police say, however, it will impact the 3 Linn County law enforcement agencies' ability to grow with the changes in technology.

Connects Against Crime: Law Enforcement Take Pay Increase for 911 Service to Voters

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