Wednesday August 15th, 2018 9:15AM

Banks County approves $556,000-plus data system purchase

By Rob Moore Reporter
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HOMER - The Banks County Commission voted 5-0 Tuesday night to spend $556,514 in sales tax proceeds for a data system that will link the county's E-9-1-1 center, fire/ems and sheriff's office.<br /> <br /> The system includes an integrated computer-aided dispatch (CAD), jail management system (JMS), records management system (RMS) and mobile data that will link the county's emergency personnel with the E-9-1-1 dispatch center in real time. <br /> <br /> Sheriff Carlton Speed and Chief Deputy Shawn Wilson attended Tuesday night's meeting. Their department is expected to benefit greatly from the new system, which will allow deputies in the field to view calls in their cars.<br /> <br /> Similarly, ambulances and primary fire trucks are expected to be equipped with the system.<br /> <br /> Banks County E-9-1-1/Emergency Management Agency Director Deidra Moore discussed the advantages of the system.<br /> <br /> "The biggest plus that it's going to bring to Banks County and the citizens is connectivity between the departments and information sharing, which makes for safer response - and a quicker response to the citizens," Moore said.<br /> <br /> She said as the call comes in to 9-1-1, responders will be able to see it in real time as the dispatcher is entering the call into the system.<br /> <br /> "As long as the dispatcher is entering it, they're seeing it," Moore said.<br /> <br /> The system purchase will be paid for through the county's 2012 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, a 1-cent sales tax collected on purchases in the county. <br /> <br /> Beginning with the second year of the system, the county will pay about $50,000 a year in maintenance costs.<br /> <br /> Commission Chairman Jimmy Hooper said the commission will need to plan for a $45,000 to $55,000 line item for system maintenance beginning in 2017.<br /> <br /> Moore said the contract award, to Southern Software which is subcontracting to Gunby Communications, followed five months of intense work by county officials.
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