L.V. Pokey Harris of Benson, a longtime public safety professional, has been hired as the new executive director of the NC 911 Board.
In her new role, Ms. Harris will guide the operations of a 17-member board chaired by Eric Boyette, the state’s chief information officer and secretary of the Department of Information Technology. The board is responsible for both wireline and wireless 911 communications in the state, as well as related policies and procedures, and it administers the state’s 911 Fund. The fund is used to support equipment purchases for the 117 911 centers in the state. The board is housed within the N.C. Department of Information Technology.
Ms. Harris succeeds former Executive Director Richard Taylor, who recently retired. He had been the board’s director since it was established by the General Assembly in 1998.
Ms. Harris had previously worked as the public safety answering point (PSAP) liaison between the board and the state’s 911 centers, which are referred to as PSAPs within the industry. Previously, she had worked in Wake County as the operations manager for Raleigh- Wake Emergency Communications Center and as the disaster preparedness program manager in the Division of Public Health.
She worked for much of her career in Virginia, where she was the E911 coordinator for the Twin County E911 Regional Commission and later a regional 911 coordinator for the Virginia Information Technologies Agency for a 16-county area of southwest Virginia. From 2009 to 2015, she was the director of emergency management for Washington County, Va., overseeing emergency management, emergency communications and emergency medical services. North Carolina’s existing 911 system was built in the 1960s, and the centers rely on an outdated analog system to comm unicate with one another. Some centers cannot connect at all. The $99 million project is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
The N.C. 911 Board is responsible for both wireline and wireless 911 communications in the state, as well as related policies and procedures, and it administers the state’s 911 Fund. The fund is used to support equipment purchases for all 911 centers in the state. The board is housed with the N.C. Department of Information Technology.