Daviess County lands part of state E911 grant

Submitted photoDaviess County dispatcher Dianna Williams works at the E911 center at the Sheriff’s Office. The dispatch center will be receiving a major upgrade from a federal grant being routed through the state of Indiana.

The E911 system in Daviess County is about to get some serious improvements. The state has received a $2.8 million federal grant that will be split among 29 different E-911 centers around Indiana.

“We are one of those,” said Daviess County Sheriff Gary Allison.

“This is not a complete overhaul of the E911 system,” said Jennifer McWilliams, communications director for the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office. “It will be the phone we answer you on and the associated equipment.”

Earlier this year the sheriff’s department put in a request with the county commissioners to seek the grant. The commissioners approved a proposed $444,803.99 project with 40% of the funding ($177,921.20) coming from the county’s E911 fund and 60% ($266,882.79) coming from the grant.

Specifically, much of the work under the project will be technical but includes upgraded call processing equipment for both the Sheriff’s Department and Police Department public safety answering points and their 911 network and core services. The improved system will make Daviess County compatible with Next Generation 911 standards. It will also allow the county and city to connect their current computer aided dispatch equipment with the new internet protocol computer processing equipment.

Since the improvements are coming to both the city and county E911 equipment, that should make it compatible in the event the county and city ever go to a combined dispatch.

Right now no one knows when the upgrades may come.

“We have not heard anything on when this will happen,” said Allison.

Before the work gets started though the project will still need the blessing of the county council before the sheriff’s office can tap into its E911 funds. “It may be as long as a year before we get to doing the installation on this,” said Allison. “It should be a really good upgrade for us.”

The federal grant comes through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Other area centers receiving grant funds include Knox County Central Dispatch and Pike County 911. In all, the federal grant is funding updates to 29 Public Safety Answering Points in Indiana.

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