By Pat Jenkins

The Dispatch

The place where most Pierce County residents must go to apply for a concealed handgun permit is now open on Saturdays.

The records department of South Sound 9-1-1, located in Tacoma, started Saturday hours March 4 to better meet the needs of customers looking to apply for concealed pistol licenses (CPLs), or obtain fingerprints or background checks, a spokesman for the agency said. The new Saturday hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with fingerprinting services ending at 2.

“We heard our community and listened to their requests for more convenience,” said Andrew Neiditz, executive director of South Sound 9-1-1 Executive Director Andrew Neiditz said. “We are pleased to finally unveil some of the more customer-focused and user-friendly services we’ve been working toward.”

The agency manages a regional emergency communication system that voters countywide authorized in 2011. In addition to processing CPLs, it accepts online reports of crimes and handles public requests for records such as vehicle accident and police incident reports from 19 police departments, including the Eatonville Police and the Pierce County Sheriff.

Some of the public services available through South Sound 9-1-1must be obtained in-person, and previous weekday-only hours made it difficult for people to visit without missing work, Neiditz said.

Anyone living in unincorporated Pierce County can only apply for a CPL through South Sound 9-1-1, located at 945 Tacoma Ave. S. Residents of seven towns or cities in the county, including Eatonville, can apply through their police departments.