In reading your story regarding Mayor Shaunna O'Connell's consideration of a regional 911 system ("Taunton cops 'extremely concerned' with proposal to outsource 911 dispatch," Jan. 13), I support O'Connell in this effort.
I simply wish to make one comment related to a statement by Officer Joseph Ryan of the Taunton Police Patrolmen's Association, keeping in mind I highly respect the Taunton Police Department and everything they do to protect and serve the community.
In the story, Ryan said it would be better to have local people handling the task of 911 dispatch because "they know the city."
My wife and I were not that long ago involved with an emergency wherein an elderly lady passed out at 4 p.m. Mass at St. Mary's Church in Taunton. Calling 911, I explained the emergency and requested an ambulance be dispatched to St. Mary's Church at the corner of Broadway and Washington at St. Mary's Square. The dispatcher said, "I need an address." Excuse me?
As the runaround continued, my wife had to look up the address on her iPhone and I gave it to the dispatcher. Luckily a parish member went out onto Broadway to flag down the ambulance and EMTs and direct them to the scene to assist the woman.
It appears someone answering that 911 line did not know Taunton or one of its major landmarks.
This article originally appeared on The Taunton Daily Gazette: Opinion: Joining regional 911 dispatch center an idea worth exploring