Texting and 9-1-1
For many of us, texting has become second nature. To accommodate this level of access in communications, the Denco Area 9-1-1 District has worked diligently to upgrade the 9-1-1 system, which could save valuable time in an emergency situation.
Just last month, citizens in the Denco Area 9-1-1 District gained a new tool to help in an emergency situation. The already advanced 9-1-1 system has a new text-to-911 capability that allows citizens and visitors to interact with public safety agencies via the text message feature of their wireless phone.
Although officials recommend you text only if you can’t call, under the right conditions, texting can be an invaluable tool for those requesting emergency services. Texting is especially useful to the hearing impaired or speech impaired callers, reporting a crime in progress when speaking could put the caller at risk, and victims facing domestic abuse.
Today, the majority of 9-1-1 calls are placed from mobile phones, which require a different approach to location and mapping than traditional landline phones. In response to this significant trend, Denco 911 has equipped each of the 9-1-1 answering points in their district with advanced call processing software and digital mapping technology. The equipment is capable of receiving and displaying wireless location data, including the wireless phone number and the caller’s approximate location on a map. Since location information is approximate, it remains critical for callers to provide as much location information as possible.
Citizens who find themselves in an emergency situation and unable to make a voice call to 9-1-1 should remember these steps:
- Don’t text and drive
- In the first text message send the location and type of emergency.
- Text in simple words – Send a short text message without abbreviations or slang.
- Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
- Photos and videos cannot be sent to 911 at this time.
- Text-to-911 cannot include more than one person.
- Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 911.
Text-to-911 service is not available everywhere and is subject to the same limitations and challenges as all wireless calls. If you do not receive a text response from 9-1-1, try to contact 9-1-1 another way.
Making a voice call to 9-1-1 is always the best way to get help in an emergency situation. However, if you are in a situation where speaking could put you in danger or you have trouble hearing or speaking, sending a text to 911 may be your best option. For more information, visit www.denco.org/9-1-1-tips.
Southwest Courthouse Opens Spring 2017
The new Denton County Southwest Courthouse is located on five acres in the beautiful master planned development of Canyon Falls in western Flower Mound, along Canyon Falls Drive at Hwy 377, just north of FM 1171. For many years the county has developed a plan to bring county services out to the residents, and the construction of this building fulfills that plan. In fact, this building was the first project planned and approved within Canyon Falls.
The 32,000-square-foot building will accommodate the County Clerk, Tax Office, Constable, Justice of the Peace, Department of Community Supervision and Corrections, Denton County Juvenile Probation, Commissioner’s Suite, and flexible office space for Health Services, Veterans Services, and AgriLife to use as needed. We have also planned space for the Department of Public Safety Driver’s License office.
Some of the many services the departments in this building will provide are: obtaining birth certificates, property records, filing dba’s, passports, license plate renewals, payment of property taxes, filing small claims cases, and any driver’s license needs.
The building also features a community room for meetings and other civic gatherings. We are excited that the Constable’s office will be housed in the building, which will provide an additional level of public safety to the building and the surrounding neighborhood.
The new Courthouse was designed with the neighborhood in mind. The Courthouse exterior material pallet consists of heavy timber elements with natural stone veneer, brick, and standing seam metal roof to complement the Canyon Falls Development.
In addition, the project was designed to attain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification. LEED certified buildings are resource efficient, which means they are healthier, more productive places, reducing stress on the environment by encouraging energy and resource-efficient buildings, and savings from increased building value and decreased utility costs.
The site’s landscape plan includes native plants and trees, and features a retention pond with a walking trail across one of the restored historic Denton County bridges.
We look forward to this project being complete in spring of 2017.
Country Club Road Complete and Open to Through Traffic
Thanks to the hard work and cooperation of our contractor, Jagoe Public, Denton Country Club, residents, the Town of Argyle, the utility companies and the Denton County Road Crew, we are happy to announce that Country Club Road was completed five full months ahead of schedule and is now open for use.
We appreciate the patience of our residents throughout the construction process as we switched lanes, moved cones, implemented detours and adjusted speed limits. This project was a priority for Denton County as we continuously strive to provide quality roads that ultimately make a difference in the quality of life for our citizens.
The total reconstruction of Country Club Road in Argyle, funded by the 2008 Denton County Bond Election, has enhanced the safety of travel on the road with the new left and right turn lanes at FM 1830 and a left turn lane from FM 1830 onto Country Club Road.
Also, TxDOT recently bid out the FM 1830 road widening and bridge replacement at Fincher Branch and Jagoe was the winning bidder on these projects, as well. They haven’t been given a notice to proceed or start date yet but I just thought I would let you all know that you will have Jagoe on the job and can count on a job well done as with Country Club.
I am sure you all understand the situation and are as excited as I am that this project is actually finishing up nearly 5 months ahead of schedule. An awesome feat and no doubt the one way detour route was a huge factor in the early completion. We can’t thank you all enough for your patience during this project. We appreciate your willingness to undergo the one way plan in the hopes it would pay off with a shorter schedule. Jagoe has been a great contractor and team player on this project and looks forward to presenting you this new and improved road.
Meet Constable Tim Burch, Pct. 4
As a new feature in this column we want to introduce you to a different elected official each month. This month’s spotlight is Constable Tim Burch.
Tim Burch is the Denton County Precinct 4 elected Constable. Constable Burch has been in law enforcement since 1998, and is a Certified Advance Texas Peace Officer, Certified in Advanced Civil Process, a Certified Advanced Criminal Investigator, and Certified in Special Weapons and Tactics. He is also a degreed professional and member and active supporter of the Texas Justice of the Peace and Constable Association.
Constable Burch prides himself on making himself available to the public, 24 hours a day if necessary. He is an avid volunteer and supporter of several charitable organizations, including the Flower Mound Republican Club, Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas where he was awarded the Community Builder Award. He is also a volunteer for Meals On Wheels, a supporter of the Roanoke Food Pantry, and a volunteer for several senior citizens organizations.
He has received numerous law enforcement commendations, is an active volunteer and supporter of the Texas Patriot Guard, the provider of escort service to fallen soldiers and their families, and a supporter of the Denton County Law Enforcement Association. He is also an active supporter of the North Texas Metal of Honor Recipient Program.
Constable Burch provides community service hours to juveniles and families within the community through the Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, and has established a strong working relationship with the law enforcement agencies in Denton County. His office has also managed the Absent Student Assist Program (ASAP) within Northwest ISD, and provided interlocal law enforcement contracts for the cities of Bartonville and Copper Canyon.
One of the things Constable Burch is most proud of is the assignment of deputies to assist state and federal law enforcement agencies in numerous investigations and warrant roundups to help assure a safer community within Denton County.
Constables are constitutionally authorized peace officers elected by precinct. There are six constables in Denton County. They perform patrol functions and make criminal investigations, and the main duty of most constables is to serve as officer of the Justice of the Peace courts, serving subpoenas and other papers.
His belief that elected officials should serve the public and not use the office as a stepping stone or platform for another career or as a means of retirement is a priority for him. He welcomes input and feedback to make this community the best it can be.
Constable Birch and staff currently office at 217 North Oak Street in Roanoke, but will relocate to the new Denton County Southwest Courthouse when it opens in the spring. His office can be reached at 972–434-3980.
As we are in the middle of what might be the most important election of our lifetime, make sure you exercise your right and VOTE! Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, at your designated polling location.
Be sure and check our county website at www.votedenton.com for the most up-to-date information regarding days, times and locations, as well as voter lookup.
Did You Know?
Denton County offers “Curbside Voting.” Curbside voting is available to any voter who has difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time. If you have an assistant with you when you arrive at the polling location, have them notify the election official at that time. The election official will then bring your ballot to your car outside the polling location. If you do not have an assistant, please call 940-349-3200 beforehand to notify the Election Day clerk that you want to vote curbside.
35 Express Update
The reconstruction of I-35E is part of the 35Express Project, an expansion of I-35E from U.S. 380 in Denton to I-635 in Dallas, and is scheduled to be substantially complete in mid-2017.
As always, check out the project website at www.35express.org for more detailed information and detour routes, as well as regular updates on additional lane and road closures and upcoming construction. Sign up for alerts to receive up-to-the-minute information to ease your commute. In addition, access to traffic cameras along I-35E is available.
Connect With Us
Also, don’t miss a thing in Precinct 4! We would love to have you connected to the county by subscribing to our newsletter. Just use this link and enter your email and you’ll be up-to-date on everything that’s going on in Precinct 4: http://bit.ly/2aT2XNW.
And be sure and find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CommissionerAndyEads for the latest news in Denton County.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is [email protected] and my office number is 940-349-2801.