Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden's leadership and dedication to law enforcement and the community has earned him the honor of being appointed to the Federal Communications Commission's new 911 Strike Force.

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“As the Monmouth County Sheriff, I take great pride in serving as part of this newly created strike force and look forward to actively participating and representing the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, which runs the 911 Communications Center, the largest shared service in the county,” Sheriff Golden said in a statement. “I thank the FCC for its dedication to taking action in creating this advisory committee to end diversion fees. This will help ensure that funding will be spent on upgrading 9-1-1 systems, which will enhance the safety and well-being of our residents during emergencies.”

(Photo Courtesy: Monmouth County Sheriff's Office/Cynthia Scott)

The task force, which is meeting for the first time today according to the FCC, is a collection of various law enforcement officials who will work towards finding solutions of 911 fee diversions where states or other jurisdictions using the fees you pay on your phone bills for non-911 purposes, as explained by the FCC.

The Strike Force will study and then submit their findings to Congress to help end this kind of practice.

"The 911 Strike Force shall: (i) determine the effectiveness of any federal laws, including regulations, policies, and practices, or budgetary or jurisdictional constraints regarding how the federal government can most expeditiously end 911 fee diversion; (ii) consider whether criminal penalties would further prevent 911 fee diversion; and (iii) determine the impacts of 911 fee diversion."

“America’s 911 system needs an update for the digital age,” FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement. “But as we’ve seen, 911 fee diversion can shortchange public safety by delaying those updates. I am happy that the Strike Force will soon be getting to work on ideas that will help ensure that the fees that American consumers pay to support 911 will go to 911. Thank you to Kelli Merriweather for agreeing to lead this group, and welcome to all of the new 911 Strike Force members. I look forward to your work and your findings.”

In Monmouth County, the Sheriff's Office 9-1-1 Communications Division currently dispatches for 26 law enforcement agencies, 83 fire departments, 40 first aid squads and answers 9-1-1 call for 50 of the 53 municipalities with a staff of 130.

Their 9-1-1 Communications Center processed 742,211 calls in 2020.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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