United States Department of Agriculture Knoxville Rural Development Director Jerry Amonett visited Wednesday with Cocke County Emergency Communications Director Kathy Cody and Cocke County Mayor Iliff McMahan Jr., to view the new equipment purchased by the Cocke County Emergency Communications.
Amonett said that USDA Rural Development funds were used to purchase a Geographic Information System (GIS) and a 24 channel digital recorder in Cocke County.
"The GIS system will assist in 911 addressing and locating E-911 calls," said Amonett. "This equipment will provide data collection to locate incoming 911 calls from both landline and cellular phones.
Amonett said the 24 channel digital recorder will record all 911 calls and is a state requirement.
"The project will also assist the District E-911, which was created in 1989, in meeting Federal Communications Commission mandatory wireless requirements," said Amonett. "We are proud to assist Cocke County Emergency Communications with its new modern communication equipment and state of the art positioning systems that are essential to the dispatchers fulfilling their role in the community."
"We feel very fortunate to have been selected by USDA Rural Development for a grant for this state of the art GIS System and Recorder," McMahan. "I feel it is a top priority to bring Cocke County up to speed with this much-needed technology in order to provide our neighbors and their families the safest and best quality of life possible. And this wonderful equipment certainly helps to do just that."
McMahan said he wanted to sincerely thank USDA Rural Development State Director Mary Ruth Tackett and Knoxville Area Director Jerry Amonett for realizing the need here in Cocke County for improved communications, and for recognizing the hard work and dedication of E-911 Director Kathy Cody and her fine staff.
"Partnering with federal agencies like the USDA Rural Development in proactive projects such as this has an immediate and visible positive effect on our community," said McMahan.
The project was funded by Rural Development's community program, which provides assistance to public bodies such as municipalities, counties, special purpose districts, and nonprofits in developing essential community facilities by constructing, enlarging, extending, or otherwise improving essential community facilities. Community facility Grants are made to serve rural areas with a population less than 20,000.
Amonett said USDA Rural Development is committed to the future of rural communities by assisting with financial and technical assistance through various housing, community, and business-cooperative programs.
Further information on Tennessee Rural Development programs can be obtained by visiting http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn