Police Pay for Cell Phone Calls

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Some local police departments are worried they may soon have to pay a fee to receive 9-1-1 cellular phone calls.

SBC Ameritech is proposing police departments pay 10 cents per incoming cell phone call. The company says the fee will pay for the cost of enhanced 9-1-1 tracking systems required by the federal government (including the ability to track the exact latitude and longitude of a cell phone caller)

Local police departments - including the Lansing Police Department - say they receive 80,000 cellular phone calls every year, and the cost could really add up.

Ameritech representatives say the company will apply for permission to charge police departments by filing for a tariff with the Michigan Public Service Commission by the end of September.

At that point, the public may have an opportunity to express their opinions about the tariff before it is approved.

SBC Ameritech representatives say the 10-cent fee is the most economical proposal they could develop.