Harris County leaders gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Harris County 911 Emergency Call Center in East Aldine last Friday, April 26. The 42,000-square-foot facility is a major upgrade from the current call center operation that has been victimized by repeated flooding, most recently during Hurricane Harvey. The new Harris County 911 Emergency Call Center is part of the 60-acre East Aldine District Town Center. The elevated building is designed to operate before, during and after a Category 4 Hurricane with winds up to 155 mph.
During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Sheriff’s Office call takers were forced to evacuate the current downtown location after storm waters overwhelmed Buffalo Bayou and flooded the call center. The call takers then spent many post-hurricane weeks working out of the Greater Harris County 911 building in northwest Harris County.
The new call center boasts a main floor with 72 call-taker consoles and 3 backup generators, one of which has enough fuel capacity to run the building on full power for 6 days. It includes staff sleeping quarters and laundry facilities. The operation is set to begin fielding calls next week.
WELCOMING REMARKS were made by the speakers prior to the ribbon cutting.
Gerald Overturff, chairman of the East Aldine District, which is the developer of the 60 acre Town Center, welcomed the addition of this County Facility to the Aldine Community.
Judge Lina Hidalgo spoke about the building setting a higher standard for the county, “this is the future, a more resilient Harris County.”
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez thanked all those who worked as a team to plan and build the facility. He said the old downtown building was rat infested and flood prone. He said this modern workplace is more efficient, more effective, and contains more modern technology.
Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia recalled the work his team put into the planning when he was sheriff, and how proud he is of the new facility and the fact that it is being built in his Precinct. He congratulated the East Aldine District for the vision and leadership that they took to realize the Town Center, which will change Aldine.