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Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
Shonda D. Green, Department Secretary
Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable
1000 Washington St., Suite 820, Boston
Petition of the State 911 Department for Approval to Maintain the Monthly Enhanced 911 Surcharge at $1.50
Dear Secretary Green:
On behalf of the cities and towns of the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association appreciates the opportunity to comment on the State 911 Department’s petition to adjust the Enhanced 911 surcharge for each subscriber or end user whose communication services are capable of accessing and utilizing the enhanced 911 system. In order to protect and enhance the public safety operations that serve every resident and visitor in every community, we urge you to maintain the current monthly surcharge at $1.50.
As you know, this revenue is necessary in order to pay for the next generation technology that will allow our first responders, working with the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) call centers that are located within police departments throughout the state, to effectively meet community needs in emergency situations. The revenue generated by the surcharge directly pays for enhanced technology within the PSAPs, technology that includes an integrated geographic information system to decrease response times to emergency calls and create a capability to transmit video imagery, better preparing first responders for what they will encounter at the scene.
A reduction of the surcharge down from $1.50 would not account for the significant public safety improvements from the statutory grant programs or upgrades and expansion to the Next Generation 911 system. This reduction also wouldn’t factor in the significant cost-of-living increases and inflationary pressures affecting the state’s 911 Department.
At a lower surcharge level, the Department would not be able to maintain the statutory Grant Programs the Department administers at current levels, which would have a significantly negative impact to cities and towns in the Commonwealth operating public safety answering points (PSAPS).
We strongly support this important petition to maintain the monthly surcharge at $1.50. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to have your office contact me or MMA’s Senior Executive & Legislative Director Dave Koffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your consideration of these important views of cities and towns in Massachusetts.
MMA Executive Director and CEO