South Sound 911 officially welcomed the City of Puyallup as its newest member today, solidifying the agency’s efforts to provide a unified, regional 911 dispatch center in Pierce County. South Sound 911’s Policy Board recognized the city’s membership at its Sept. 24 meeting, the first meeting where Puyallup Mayor John D. Knutsen attended as a board member.

Puyallup’s membership comes after more than a year of negotiation and planning between Puyallup city leaders and South Sound 911 Executive Director Andrew Neiditz, and approval from the other member entities: Pierce County, the City of Tacoma, the City of Lakewood, West Pierce Fire & Rescue and the City of Fife.

“Puyallup’s inclusion is a meaningful final piece in creating the unified emergency communications that the people of Pierce County wanted when they voted for the proposition that created South Sound 911,” Neiditz said.

In November 2011, residents of Pierce County voted for a 0.1 percent sales tax increase to support public safety, which included the consolidation of 911 centers and the creation of an interoperable radio system for police, fire and medical first responders. Development of the new radio system is underway with plans to migrate to a single system sometime in 2015.

With Puyallup’s membership, South Sound 911 will soon be the state’s largest provider of 911 and dispatch services, serving 41 police and fire departments.