911: Vote for saving lives

When DeKalb voters go to the polls next Tuesday for a general election, they again will face a referendum asking for their approval of a 911 emergency phone system in DeKalb County.

It is difficult to understand why DeKalb County continues to lack a service so vital to the community. The approximate $10 per phone line annual cost to citizens is hardly a valid reason to ignore the importance of a 911 phone system.

The volume of support for a local 911 emergency phone system seems to belie the fact that the system has not yet been approved. Opponents of the system should realize the futility and irrationality of their stance.

Citizens will vote on an Enhanced 911 system that can track the caller’s address, in addition to medical and historical information about that location. This is different from Basic 911—found in NIU’s residence halls and buildings—which only tracks an address.

DeKalb County Lt. Kevin Hickey brought up an important point in saying, “Many people feel they already have it (a 911 system), but they don’t.” The high recognition and visibility of the 911 system lead many local citizens to believe that, if they are faced with an emergency, they can simply pick up the phone and hit 911.

But they can’t. Who knows how many lives a 911 system can save? Who knows how many more lives might be lost without one? If you don’t think it is important enough to get out and vote for individual candidates in the upcoming election, at least vote for something that can save lives.