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Carlsbad’s emergency call system gets modernized under state grant

A new modern emergency phone system replaced an outdated program used by the City of Carlsbad last month after a state grant of $568,000 was secured.

The money was appropriated from the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) during the current fiscal year.

Katey Prell, commander of the Carlsbad Police Department’s communications division, said the previous system was “antiquated” by today’s electronic standards. She said the old system was installed in 2013.

“It did its job for many years,” she said.

Prell said the City of Carlsbad secured funding from the DFA’s E911 Program for the new system that went online on May 19.

Olivia Molina takes a call at the City of Carlsbad's Emergency Dispatch Center. A state grant allowed the City to upgrade its emergency phone system.

According to DFA’s website, E911 is funded through a 911 emergency surcharge, which is a monthly uniform charge assessed on each access line in the state and on each active number for a commercial mobile radio service subscriber whose billing address is in New Mexico.

Prell said the cost of a new 911 Phone System included two additional phone positions.

“And three mobile positions to be utilized in a training setting and anytime we needed it outside the dispatch center such as in a command post,” she said.