The New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC) held a press conference in Hunterdon County on Tuesday April 5 to urge support for the United States Congress to adopt the “Report and Recommendations” of the “Ending 911 Fee Diversion Now Strike Force” (911 Strike Force), which was established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the State of New Jersey continues to reign as the worst offender of diverting 911 fees in the entire nation.
New Jersey collects a fee on every individual’s phone bill each month that is supposed to support 911 services. The 9-1-1 System and Emergency Response Fee is $.90 for every phone line each month for New Jersey residents. The New Jersey Association of Counties reported that the Garden State has collected approximately $1.5 billion in fees since 2006 with only 11% of Fund monies being spent on eligible expenses.
Cape May County Commissioner Director Gerald M. Thornton released the following statement in support of NJAC:
“This is an issue that has been a fight I have taken up for many years, along with our partner organizations, the New Jersey Association of Counties, and the Southern New Jersey Commissioners Association. Being the Commissioner who oversees Emergency Management in Cape May County and led the creation of our central dispatch center, it is terrible to see these funds diverted from counties. These funds directly go towards saving lives because the better the equipment that counties procure, the quicker the response times can be for emergency situations.”