Funding sought to continue merger

Published 1:16 pm Friday, September 5, 2014

If the commission can find the money, the merger of 911 and sheriff’s office dispatching could be closer to completion.

At its Thursday meeting the commission approved the use of Emergitech out of Columbus to provide hardware and software so 911 and sheriff’s office dispatching can be consolidated. The commission originally approved using Emergitech, which 911 was already using, for the merger in May of 2013.

That consolidation was approved by the county commission in May of 2012, but has yet to be realized.

Email newsletter signup

Now the county has to come up with $32,006, which is the annual fee for Emergitech, $24,650 for 10 work stations to merge the sheriff’s dispatchers with those at 911, $1,500 to train them and $2,495 for the second year maintenance fee.

Right now there is $23,000 unappropriated in the 911 fund; $37,000 in the wireless 911 fund, if this would qualify, and $2,200 left in the half percent sales tax earmarked for emergency services.

“If they fund it properly, that will help move everything forward,” Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said. “They want to approach the budget commission on our behalf to see if the money is there.”

The next budget commission will meet at 9 a.m. on Sept. 23.

If the merger happens before moving the jail to Scioto County, additional personnel will have to be hired because sheriff’s dispatchers currently control the cameras and doors for the jail.

“I would still have to hire to man that control center,” Lawless said. “With the new jail coming on board, we won’t.”