Jessica OrbonJun 18, 2018, 7:55 pmJun 19, 2018, 2:51 pm

Monmouth County officials demand more funding for 911 call centers

For years, call centers say they have not been receiving funds from built-in-fees on phone bills

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FREEHOLD — Emergency call centers across New Jersey are finding themselves struggling to keep up with the technology being used to save lives across the nation, due to a lack of funding.

Normally, each landline and wireless phone bill in the state has a $0.90 fee built in, dedicated to 911 emergency services. In 2017, those fees generated $134 million, but call centers say they haven't seen any of that money in years.

"I'm not sure where the money goes," said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. "We can only say it's probably used to fill some hole in the state budget."

The last time the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office 911 Communications Center received money from the state government was in 2010, an amount that was only a fraction of what it was owed from built-in fees. Now, state officials are looking to pass a bill that would raise the built-in fee to $0.99 cents per bill.

"Even with the increased fees, nothing is going towards the county and public safety answering points, and I think that's disturbing and, quite frankly, outrageous," said Sheriff Golden.

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