Monroe County signs new 911 system contract

WOODSFIELD – Monroe County commissioners agreed to purchase a state-of-the-art 911 system for more than $400,000 on Tuesday.

Members of the Monroe County Board of Commissioners signed the contract for the system, pending approval by county Prosecutor James Peters. The General Dynamics Information Technology contract is for $409,670 and includes the initial setup, equipment and phone system for countywide 911 coverage over three years of service.

“I think it needs to be stated that there are a lot of state regulations coming down that are forcing our hand to move toward these next generation 911 systems that will definitely make our 911 system more reliable for the public,” said Monroe County 911 Coordinator Jason Harter.

Harter said the contract is approved, the system will be on track to be fully functioning by November or sooner.

“This was looking like it was going to be a $700,000 or $800,000 project. We’ve been able to cut that cost down significantly,” he added.

Morgan County, Ohio, has a similar 911 system, and Harter has consulted with officials in that county about the matter.

“Morgan County has not had any problems since they’ve had this system up,” he said. “They’ve had no down time at all.”

Another contract with a computer-aided design system provider will also be needed to complete the 911 system, and GDIT is recommending ID Networks of Ashtabula, Ohio. Harter and fellow 911 Coordinator Phil Keevert are waiting to receive a proposed contract from ID Networks.

“The 911 calls will go into the CAD system, and then they will dispatch. If there is an officer sitting in Malaga and there is a call in Beallsville and he is the closest officer, this CAD system will automatically dispatch him over the computer without the dispatcher having to do anything. Another advantage to the CAD system is turn-by-turn directions for any emergency,” Harter noted.

“This will be state-of-the-art compared to what we had, especially with the GDIT 911 system. With everything being hosted at the state of Ohio, we will have minimal equipment here. So if there is an issue, I will be able to fix that very quickly. Phil will be able to fix anything as well. We don’t foresee any problems. They usually fix anything before we even see it,” he added. “We will definitely get more for our money going with GDIT and ID Networks. The system is specifically built for Monroe County.”

Commissioner Mick Schumacher asked if the project was exempt from needing other bids. The issue was discussed, and it was determined Peters will look into it; he is expected to approve the contract if no other bids are needed.

Commissioners will meet again at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the courthouse in Woodsfield.