County set to update 911 maps

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February 10, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Dispatchers at the 911 center, 410 N. State St., “have access to some great tools,” Sheriff Tom Williams told Allen County commissioners Tuesday. More are coming.
Williams said global positioning system devices would be available to his officers soon that would permit dispatchers to know exactly where an officer is whenever on duty. A marker on the map terminal monitored by each dispatcher will pinpoint officers’ locations.
“When they move, the icon will move,” Williams said. “It will provide officers more safety and give dispatchers opportunity to call on the nearest officer when an incident occurs.”
Williams said 911 maps also would be updated soon to show the exact location of all residences, businesses and other points of interest. He said problems with nearly 1,000 data points had been noted.
Williams noted that computer-generated maps at the dispatch center were more than schematics on a screen. The maps have layers which appear with the click of a mouse. Each layer — more will added with the upgrade — shows particular features, such as location of fire hydrants, residences, utility lines and hazardous material storage.
“They’re great tools for public safety,” he said.
An outside company estimated the upgrade will cost $15,000.
Williams prefers to hire someone locally who knows the county to do the work. Software and equipment used for regional Homeland Security will be available.

WILLIAMS also told commissioners his department was involved in last week’s multi-county drug raid.
“We were asked to provide two deputies for two weeks of surveillance duty,” he said.
“We think there will be some spin-off arrests for Allen County,” he said, noting that suspects facing charges often are eager to trade information for consideration in court.
The county’s Emergency Operations Center also was involved during the raid.

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