Howell County 911 to Begin MULES Services to Local PDs

The Board of Directors of Howell County 911 met for a regular meeting on September 23. On the agenda was a discussion of a cessation of services from Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Troop G to municipal police departments. 
In what MSHP’s Sergeant Jeffrey Kinder called a “pilot program,” Troop G will no longer offer dispatch and MULES services to municipal police departments. After daylight hours, local departments, notably Willow Springs and Mountain View Police Departments have relied on 911 for dispatch services and on Troop G for MULES checks as needed. 
MULES is a database that allows law enforcement officers access to vital information about a vehicle and the potential driver before approaching a traffic stop. 
When the check is performed remotely, officers have more information about who may be in the car during a stop before walking up to the window, without ever having to take their eyes off the vehicle, said Officer Jim Hedlesten of the Willow Springs Police Department. 
Howell County 911 is a sovereign entity with its own tax funding and is not required to provide this service to any municipal department. However, in the absence of Troop G’s services, MULES checks would otherwise be performed by MSHP in Rolla and would take much longer. 
“This is a time period of critical need for MULES information,” read the minutes of the 911 Board meeting published on October 29.  
Secretary Walters made a motion to expand Howell County 911 Center responsibilities to include “full service” dispatching and call answering services for all fire, EMS, and law enforcement entities in the county, which would include MULES services. The motion died for lack of a second. 
Vice-Chair Terry Newton made a motion that Howell County 911 expand its services to provide MULES service during midnight shifts to local departments, and this motion was passed unanimously. 
At the meeting on October 28, the 911 director was expected to present a plan for implementation of this new service to the Board. This is a developing story. Watch future editions of Howell County News for more information.
by Amanda Mendez, publisher

Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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