Beatrice Police Chief Bruce Lang, whose department houses the Southeast Communications Center, explains what may’ve happened.
“The information we have is that it was a computer upgrade to the server boxes that are housed in Lincoln that possibly caused the outage,” Chief Lang says.
Counties were affected in varying ways, by the outage. The Southeast Region includes Gage, Cass, Jefferson, Clay, Fillmore, Nemaha, Johnson, Lancaster, Pawnee, Seward, Thayer, Richardson, Nuckolls and York counties.
The outage hit the Southeast Communications Center from 4:20 a.m. until about 10:20 a.m., a six-hour stretch.
Seven counties provided an alternate phone number people could use for emergencies during the outage. Those included Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee and Seward counties.
Lang says locally, people could call the regular police department phone number to report an emergency.
“We’re always concerned that somebody didn’t get through or didn’t know about the alternate number,” Lang says. “We have not gotten any feedback yet today anyway of people that said, ‘Hey, I had an emergency and I couldn’t get through.'”
Lang says it’s possible that luck was on the center’s side and that it was just a slow day for emergency calls.
(By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice)