Gary Byers & Matt Heyrman, 911 consolidation proposal

In December 2018, the Board of Lucas County Commissioners was approached by key stakeholders in the County’s 911 system to study the feasibility of the merging and consolidation of 911 services in Lucas County with the goal of creating a safer and more effective and efficient countywide system. The Commissioners were perceived to be the appropriate governmental agency to conduct this analysis due to the following: 1. The County Commissioners are identified as the “Owners” of the 911 system by the 911 Implementation Plan for Lucas County; 2. The County Commissioners administer countywide 911 funds; 3. The County Commissioners maintain the infrastructure of the 911 system; and 4. The County Commissioners do not operate a public safety answering point (PSAP), providing some level of objectivity. Consolidation of 911 services has become common across the United States due to the blurring of jurisdictional lines caused by expanded 911 calls for service from cellular phones and internet connected devices; greater demands and training requirements for call takers and public safety dispatchers; and the increasing complexity and costs of the technology required to operate PSAPs. Additionally, in recent years the State of Ohio has pushed for consolidation through the enactment of legislation that limits the number of PSAPs permitted to operate in a county and the commissioning of a report studying and providing guidance for jurisdictions on consolidation . 911 consolidation has been discussed in Lucas County for years. Lucas County is well positioned for consolidation due to shared Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and call handling systems across the County’s PSAPs and a robust countywide interoperable communications system utilized by all public safety agencies. In conducting this analysis, the Commissioners’ Office has sought to facilitate a collaborative and transparent process to collect information about the current state of the County’s 911 system, research industry best practices, garner input from all stakeholders and propose solutions. The process has been iterative as information gathered is documented, challenged, and updated in frequently circulated draft reports. This document represents the latest draft and seeks to record the findings of this process.

 
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