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City Moves Ahead on Cloud-Based 911 System

Chillicothe City Council members approved a five-year contract with Solacom for hosting the city's emergency 911 
system. City officials approved revisions to the contract during their regular meeting Monday evening at City Hall. The new system will be a cloud-based hosted system through which the equipment is "in the cloud." This means that the 911 data and programs will be stored and accessed over the internet rather than through a computer hard drive at the 
police station. Chillicothe's 911 center, based at the police station, currently has a premise based system. The cloud-based system provides increased safety and greater security and will be less likely to experience equipment malfunction, according to company representative Morey Sullivan. Through the contract, the company will maintain the system, and there does not need to be any on-site expertise of internet technology equipment. Installation of the new system could take place within the next few weeks. In making this switch to a cloud-based system, the new 911 system will provide callers with the options of sending video and texts. This capability could provide greater access in reaching the police as well as enhance emergency response, Sullivan said. Videos can provide additional information about the nature of the call before police arrive. The contract with the city calls for a one-time charge of $49,570, and a monthly charge of $3,972 (of a total for 60 months of $238,335).

CPD to Receive Advanced 911 System That Allows Text, Photos, Video
April 1, 2016

The Chillicothe City Council approved the city's 2016-17 budget on Monday night. The new fiscal year begins today, Friday, April 1. Included in the budget's expenses was a new 911 system for the Chillicothe Police Department, projected to cost $45,360. According to the Chillicothe Police Department's Office Manager, Cindy Hanavan, the police department has not made a final decision on which 911 system to purchase yet but the search has been narrowed down to two options. Hanavan said the options are night and day differences, but the department is leaning toward the less costly of the two. "We're looking to save money because the change over will be expensive. We will need all new equipment," Hanavan said. According to Hanavan, the equipment the department currently has is about eight to ten years old and was given to them used by the Livingston County Sheriff's Office. Hanavan said the age of the equipment is a concern for the department because computers and systems that are on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year wear out quickly. If the system does quit, calls will roll over to the Trenton Police Department as back up.

The system the CPD currently has shows land line phone numbers and pulls the location of the caller up on a map; however, the system only sometimes shows a cell phone number and location. The current system also allows deaf persons to type to the police, but doesn't allow text messages. A new system that will be able to show both number and location for land lines and cell phones, and will allow one to text, send video and photos to 911 would be very useful for the police, according to Hanavan. She said a system allowing one to text and send video and photos would greatly benefit the department and victims. For example, if one had an intruder in his home and he was hiding, he could quietly text the police department instead of risking a call. Videos and photos would allow citizens the ability to take photos or video of a crime being committed and send it to the police department as evidence. If the department goes with the less costly system, it won't always show where cell phones are coming in as of yet, "but that will be coming soon, I hope," Hanavan said. "Depending on which company we go with, one will have all the goodies at once, and if we go with the other, it will give us the choice to add little bits at a time (which would ultimately save the taxpayers money)." However, according to Hanavan, photos and videos are available in some bigger metropolitan areas, but not in the Chillicothe area yet. "Getting the new 911 equipment would help the community and our departments in a sense that it will be more dependable and accurate," Hanavan said. Depending on the system we choose, it could also help the dispatchers with sending information to the ambulances via tablet. This would in turn help them by having to only give the information once instead of having to repeat it. We will do our best to choose the right program to benefit both the department and the citizens of Chillicothe."

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