South Sound 911, the voter-approved agency building a seamless emergency communications system to improve public safety, has its first executive director and a vision.
The nine-member Policy Board unanimously voted Wednesday, Jan. 23 to approve a contract with Andrew Neiditz, who has served as Lakewood’s city manager since 2005. The contract will run for three years, with a two-year extension available by mutual agreement.
“This is a very important step as we work toward implementing the will of voters across the county,” said Pierce County Executive and Policy Board Chair Pat McCarthy. “Andrew’s knowledge of the community and experience with public safety systems and complex projects will serve us well as we make progress on building a radio and dispatch network that serves every resident of Pierce County.”
Neiditz has more than 25 years of senior executive experience in local government. Prior to joining Lakewood, he served as city administrator in Sumner and he held two leadership positions with the county, including executive director of public safety.
“I feel honored by the board’s vote confirming my appointment, and I am very impressed by the significant challenge we have in building a new public enterprise,” Neiditz said. “Our success is critically important, and to that I’m fully committed.”
South Sound 911’s Combined Operations Board, which is comprised of police and fire chiefs, voted on Dec. 14 to recommend Neiditz’s hire. The Policy Board, which consists of elected officials representing member jurisdictions, voted on Jan. 9 to confirm the hire, pending successful contract negotiations. Neiditz will start Feb. 28 after completing the severance conditions in his Lakewood contract.
In a related development, the Policy Board also voted Wednesday to adopt mission and vision statements for the new agency, which is replacing the patchwork of incompatible radio systems and dispatch facilities with a modern system that will provide fast and reliable communications among law enforcement, firefighters and 911 dispatchers.
We provide a modern, unified emergency communication and response system to protect and serve our communities and partner agencies.
We will collaborate with regional partners to protect lives, property and communities. We will enhance public safety by:
• Assuring prompt responses to all emergencies and service requests.
• Serving the public trust with reliable, efficient and financially responsible systems
• Inspiring industry excellence with innovative technologies and staff.