Clark County launches new 911 system with smartphone capabilities

Clark County to unveil new dispatch software later this year. (Photo by: WDTN/Jake Ryle)
Clark County to unveil new dispatch software later this year. (Photo by: WDTN/Jake Ryle)

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Soon contacting 911 will be as easy as pressing the “send” button on your smart phone.  Clark County just launched its Next Generation 911 system.  In doing so, they’ve also doubled their staff size by hiring more dispatchers.

The $300,000 dispatch system features touch-screen computers, GPS mapping and OnStar capabilities.  The system will soon provide the highly anticipated text 911 feature, which will allow people in emergency situations to text 911 and send pictures along with videos to help police find a location faster.

The Clark County next generation 911 system currently dispatches for eight out of the 10 townships in the area, but Sheriff Gene Kelly said it has the ability to cover multiple counties and jurisdiction.

“This is where technology is and where it’s going, and I think the forward thinking in Clark County is making us and our community safer,” Kelly said.

18-year veteran dispatcher Debbie Husted said she’s excited about the advanced system, because every second counts.

“We’re hoping with the text messaging and with our mapping system that we’ll be able to get people out there are quick as possible,” Husted said.

According to Kelly, 911 text capabilities will go live in three to six months.

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