The Chillicothe and Livingston County Dispatch services for Police, Sheriff, Fire and EMS is handled by the Chillicothe Police Department, under a contract that expires in January. That contract was signed 10 years ago and prior to the agreement, the Chillicothe Police Department had six dispatchers handling the police department and the Sheriff’s office had six dispatchers for their office and other dispatch responsibilities. That was cut to a total of six dispatchers.
Today, the Police Department has seven dispatchers. The current staff includes one supervisor, two veteran dispatchers and five with a less than a year of experience and of those, one is at two weeks. They also have one open position.
Sheriff Steve Cox says these people need to have experience.
Chief Jon Maples says the position has high turnover.
Maples says part of the problem is the workload in addition to the dispatch duties. That workload includes warrants, entering the information from the day’s activities for the courts and into the Highway Patrol system and statewide records.
A big obstacle is the funding. The funding from the 911 user fee on landlines continues to decline and there is NO user fee on cellphones and other devices. Options for the city and county to increase funding would include an increase on sales tax dedicated for 911, or choosing to go with the user fee on cellphones. Both would need voter approval. If they choose the user fee option and it is approved, they would lose the landline portion and the increase would be only about $20,000.