It appears the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Police Department and Passavant Area Hospital won’t be the only members of the recently approved joint dispatch center.
The Morgan County 911 board met this morning and accepted a grant application to bring Greene County into the mix. Morgan County Emergency Services Director Phil McCarty says officials from Greene County already passed the joint dispatch application. According to McCarty, the partnership will become official if the Morgan County Commissioners approve the agreement in the near future.
McCarty feels adding Greene County would make the joint dispatch center stronger.
“It allows us to utilize our resources better. We can bring the same services to Greene County that we already have in place for Morgan County. Once we get them addressed, we can bring them online with our enhanced system we have in place.”
McCarty says there is a possibility Calhoun County could also join the joint dispatch center. Calhoun County created a two-member commission to determine whether Morgan County or Jersey County would be the better joint dispatch center to join.
McCarty says the joint dispatch center could handle the challenge of bringing in Calhoun County.
“That was one of the things we wanted to make sure we were ready for. Maybe we didn’t think it would happen this fast. It will be a challenge, but we are looking forward to working with the people of Greene and possibly Calhoun. I think it will be good moving forward.”
McCarty noted his meeting with Calhoun County officials on Monday was productive, which led to the Morgan County 911 board authorizing a motion to proceed with the grant application process. McCarty believes the contracts with Greene and Calhoun will be very similar.
The joint dispatch center will be operated under the control of the Morgan County Emergency Telephone Services board, which will be comprised of city and county officials.
The overall cost of the project is estimated to be about $688,000, about four-fifths of which will be covered by the Morgan County ETSB.