Missouri lags behind in 911 coverage

Missouri lags behind in 911 coverage
By: Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's emergency service coverage lags behind the rest of the country and is among the nation's worst in allowing 911 operators to fix a caller's location.

About 20% of Missouri's counties do not have a fully functioning system for even landline telephones. And fewer than one-third of Missouri counties can track a cell phone caller's location.

The figures come from an Associated Press review of data from the state, a consultant's report and trade groups. The consultant said that among other Midwestern states, only Illinois and Oklahoma lack 911 systems in more than 10% of their counties.

Missouri's 911 coordinator R.D. Porter said that in a domestic violence case, dispatchers listened to abuse for 52 minutes before the abuser finally passed out. It was only then that the caller could tell them where she was.

Most Missouri counties have basic 911 service for wireline phones. But most of the state's counties do not have the ability to track the location of wireless 911 phone calls. Here are the exceptions:

  • Missouri counties lacking wireline 911 coverage:
    Bates
    Bollinger
    Carter
    Cedar
    Clark
    Douglas
    Iron
    Knox
    Mercer
    Oregon
    Ozark
    Reynolds
    Ripley
    Schuyler
    Scotland
    Shannon
  • Missouri counties lacking wireline 911 coverage, with plans to implement it:
    Barry
    Dent
    Hickory
    Saline
    Vernon
    Worth
  • Missouri counties able to track location for all wireless calls:
    Adair
    Andrew
    Boone
    Caldwell
    Clinton
    DeKalb
    Greene
    Montgomery
    Newton
    Osage
    Scott
    Webster
  • Missouri counties with ability to track location of some wireless calls:
    Carroll
    Cass
    Chariton
    Christian
    Clay
    Cooper
    Dallas
    Gentry
    Henry
    Howell
    Jackson
    Jasper
    Lawrence
    Lewis
    Lincoln
    Macon
    Monroe
    Nodaway
    Platte
    Ray
    Shelby
    St. Louis
    Stone
    Taney
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)