News graphic by Joshua Worster This chart shows Knox County 911 calls in January and February, demonstrating that the peak period for calls was 3 p.m. The day of the week with the most calls was Thursday.

News graphic by Joshua Worster

This chart shows Knox County 911 calls in January and February, demonstrating that the peak period for calls was 3 p.m. The day of the week with the most calls was Thursday.

MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County 911 system has taken the next step to implement a Zuercher CAD (Computer-Aided Dispatch) system with several “next gen” features that will interface with the new Knox County 911 phone system installed this past November. What’s more, Knox County 911 Operations Director Laura Webster said, the new CAD system will also interface with the sheriff’s office Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) and the Knox County Jail computer system, as well as the Mount Vernon Police computer system. It will also likely interface with Fredericktown’s police computer system, she added.

Thursday, Knox County commissioners approved an agreement with Central Square Technologies (Zuercher) for a CAD software license and upgrade, with the commissioners agreeing to cover upfront costs for the 911 system ($194,954) and the sheriff’s office ($213,611) for a total of $408,565. The current CAD system is approximately 10 years old.

The Fredericktown and Danville police departments are pursuing grant-related funding to pay their share of upfront costs, about $12,200 each.

The city of Mount Vernon, which County Administrator Jason Booth said has supported the CAD upgrade for about a year, will be asked to approve up front costs of about $40,000. There are also maintenance costs associated on a yearly basis starting in 2021, with the county 911 system’s CAD maintenance cost set at $32,964 per year — currently, it’s about $47,000 — with the sheriff’s CAD maintenance cost set at $33,373. Presently that cost for the sheriff is about $40,000, meaning both agencies will save thousands of dollars on CAD system maintenance, Booth noted. Mount Vernon’s share of CAD maintenance is estimated at $5,894 annually, he added.

The new Zuercher CAD system will have several “next gen” features that are pleasing to both 911 dispatchers and law enforcement alike, county officials said. One advantage is a police vehicle locator for law enforcement, Booth and Webster both mentioned. Webster said the ability to locate a police vehicle quickly would have been advantageous in 2016, when law enforcement officers were tracking a man who shot and killed a Danville police officer — and then sped off in the vehicle before apprehension.

Webster said she also likes a Zuercher CAD feature that allows dispatchers and their supervisors to view trends in an area — such as for example, burglaries reported within a 10-mile radius over a certain amount of time. “Pins” would appear in the circle, showing where those incidents allegedly occurred.

Commissioners also heard from Webster about the good results to date in working with the Zuercher 911 phone system and its installed software. She called it more user friendly than the old system and added that technicians are able to “remote in” to the system instead of having to send someone to Mount Vernon.

Another advantage is the Zuercher 911 phone system allows Webster and her staff to create color-coded charts and graphs. She produced a few graphs for commissioners for January and February of this year in receiving 911 calls. One showed that peak calls were at 3 p.m. Another graph showed that the highest volume during the week came on Thursdays. The county’s 911 phone system from Zuercher cost $212,485.

In other matters Thursday, commission President Teresa Bemiller clarified funding for Adult Protective Services through Knox County Jobs & Family Services, with the funds approved this week from commissioners and paid from a county levy for senior programs. JFS received $69,828 in Adult Protective Services program funding after requesting $100,000 from commissioners. The program investigates elder abuse cases.

JFS will use the funds to enter into an agreement with the Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, which is to provide Adult Protective Services for JFS starting April 1 for a period of one year. JFS is paying $82,000 for the service agreement, covered by the $69.828 received from commissioners through the senior levy and with the rest of the amount needed coming from state funds taken in by JFS.

 

Larry Di Giovanni: 740-397-5333 or larry@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @http://twitter.com/mountvernonnews

 

 

 

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