County Dispatch To Receive Digital Upgrade

By Leah Williams

The Washington County Board learned of a grant that the county dispatch had received that will undergo in the next calendar year.

9-1-1 Coordinator Jessica Hasheider approached the board during its regular monthly meeting to discuss an $85,000 grant that the county had received in conjunction with Randolph County. The grant will update  its dispatch system under the Next Generation 911 digital technology, or Next Gen.

Hasheider said the program is already in place throughout the state.

“This technology is already available in counties, including those south of us,” Hasheider said.

Hasheider also stated that  the digital system is to be in place by March or April 2020.

Hasheider said the system would also allow the public to text 9-1-1 if the county decided to initiate the service.

Hasheider also stated her opinion recent discussions over the county’s dispatch systems.

‘Since we are a multiple disciplinary agency, I think it’s a great idea for the communications committee to discuss making dispatch its own department,” she said. “It’s more than just police dispatching.”

Last month, several county administrators and board members expressed their cocnerns about the county’s dispatch and how it affects different agencies responding to emergencies.

When he gave his committee report, Chairman Vic Shubert stated that more concerns over the dispatch have occurred since the previous meeting

“I know there have been some issues,” Hasheider said.  “I just would like to see the communications committee meet with the PCAP and the 9-1-1 board can meet and get some of these issues resolved.”

In other county board news, the board approved the budget for the 2020 fiscal year.

The board approved the Washington County levy; the co-op extension budget and levy; and the mental health budget and levy.

A special use permit for Benjamin Patterson for a sign in New Minden was approved.

A recommendation for Andrew Schomaker to change a zone district from agriculture to registration 1 was approved.

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