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      New beginnings for the Ralls County 911 Center

      For more than a year, the Ralls County 911 Center has been disconnected.

      An incident at the facility forced it to be closed and since then all emergency calls have been taken by the Marion County 911 Center.

      But there's hope on the other end of the phone line.

      In June, a new executive director, Michael Arnold, was hired to help reopen and run the Ralls County 911 Center.

      "I want to bring respectability and accountability back to this office," Arnold said.

      Since Arnold came on board, he's metaphorically had to rebuild the center from the ground up.

      "We're just giving the building a little TLC. We've done some work inside and out,â?? Arnold said. â??We've facilitated new servers, new computers for the dispatch area to upgrade them to the FBI's standards."

      He's still attempting to knock a few obstacles off his list.

      "We've successfully applied for our (MULES) circuit or Missouri Uniformed Law Enforcement (System) circuit and it's in the works and we're waiting, currently waiting on parts from Motorola to update our radio system," Arnold said.

      Arnold has brought in some fresh ideas and began creating a specialized mapping program.

      Arnold and the existing staff have laid out a standard procedure guideline.

      He's already administered an aptitude test to more than 40 people for dispatcher positions.

      He's trying to hire at least 10 dispatchers.

      In the future, the center will be open 24 hours a day with two dispatchers working at all time.

      "We're going to be starting our training process in the next three weeks hopefully. And we do want to have a high level of integrity here,â?? Arnold said. â??We're going to hire the best possible people to do the best possible job."

      But he's asking one favor from residents to help make their service more efficient.

      "One of the main things the people or the citizens can do for us, is please mark your address clearly with some numerics or some kind of numbering for your house," Arnold said.

      Arnold said he's making appointments to receive feedback on the center's standard procedure guideline from Ralls County firefighters, police and other emergency services.

      He also said the center will hopefully open sometime later this year.