Jun. 14—LAURINBURG — Scotland County residents will soon see an familiar face in a new position at the Scotland County 911 Center as Samantha Cameron Dutch takes over for retiring Mike Edge.
"Mike will be leaving after 34 years of service," said Dutch. "His last day will be July 2."
Dutch has served as the assistant director since 2015 and has worked in other similar settings in the past.
"I am very excited," said Dutch. "As with any new position I believe being nervous is natural, but I have confidence in myself and faith in God that I will do just fine."
During the first year, Dutch says she does not plan to make any big changes.
"Once we get our administrative team in place, I'm sure there will be goals set and plans to accomplish those goals," Dutch said. "Over the years Director Mike Edge has done a phenomenal job of making sure that our 911 center is up to date with the latest technologies in order to serve our citizens in the most efficient ways possible. I plan on continuing this trend."
One of the things Dutch and the other staff have been working on is getting their training program nationally certified through the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials.
"The process has been quite tedious but we submitted the paperwork back in February and are currently waiting to hear back as to whether or not it was approved," said Dutch. "I am extremely thankful for the telecommunicators we have as part of our 911 team and the support they have shown me. They all do an excellent job in serving our citizens and have certainly made my time as assistant director a little less hard.
"We will continue to work together to make sure our first responders in the field arrive home after their shifts and the citizens of Scotland County remain safe." added Dutch.
Dutch also said she wants the citizens to know that above all else, they are the priority.
"Our staff enjoys helping to educate the public on our 911 system and how it operates," said Dutch. "If there is ever an event, civic group, school, etc. that would like us to do a presentation on 911 please do not hesitate to reach out. Also since migrating back to 'normal' after the pandemic, we do allow groups to schedule tours of our 911 center so they can see first hand how emergencies are handled."
The Scotland County 911 Center is not currently hiring, according to Dutch however the listing for the assistant director position will be posted in the near future.
"While being short-staffed is very much a trend in public-safety agencies around the country, we are very blessed that we do not currently have any openings," said Dutch.
To schedule a visit with the 911 center, residents can call 910-266-4661.
JJ Melton can be reached at [email protected]