Mayor Bloomberg Defends The Progress of Updating of The 911 System

NY Daily News - October 22, 2009

by Rocco Parascandola and Frank Lombardi

Mayor Bloomberg disputed on Wednesday a Daily News report that modernization of the city's 911 system has been plagued with delays and rising costs.

He and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly insisted significant progress has been made in improving existing 911 facilities and in developing a backup 911 center in the Bronx.

Bloomberg said the relocation of existing 911 operations and personnel into new quarters at MetroTech in downtown Brooklyn hasn't been completed because some of the technology simply hasn't passed the rigorous tests.

"We are not going to move anybody in until it passes every single test when people's lives are on the line," he added.

As to costs that have reportedly risen to more than $2 billion from $1.3 billion, the mayor said the original plans were expanded to include additional features.

"I think it's probably fair to say we're 10% over budget on what was in the original spec," he said.

Some of the delay, one mayoral official added, was caused by protracted negotiations to buy the privately owned site in the Bronx.

"It is a complex undertaking, and I think the delay has been with the problem contractors as far as the department is concerned," Kelly said. "We would certainly like to see it move at a more rapid rate."