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Fiscal court asked to spend money to upgrade old communications system

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - In order to have the most efficient system to communicate between dispatchers and emergency responders, there is work that needs to be done in the Bullitt County E-911 center.

But that work involves the purchase of new computer hardware and software.

Several emergency agencies came to show their support of director Mike Phillips in an effort to have money placed in the upcoming budget for upgrades to the Central Dispatch’s CAD system.

Shepherdsville police chief Doug Puckett said for the safety of everyone who works to protect the people of the county, the system must be updated.

“We all support that system,” Mount Washington police chief Roy Daugherty said of the proposed upgrades.

During a recent meeting of the police chiefs, county attorney Monica Robinson said there was a lot of concern about the communications system. Some of the city departments want to upgrade their systems but can’t unless the county does likewise.

According to Phillips, a total of $116,000 would be needed to upgrade the hardware and software.

With the upgrades, mobile data units for police and fire would be more efficient and Central Dispatch could provide more statistical information being sought by the departments.

Internally, Phillips said the new system would help productivity and can provide more information more quickly.

It would also help in the ambulance service.

“It is something we really need,” said Phillips.

Magistrate Rick Clements asked how the success of the new upgrades could be measured.

Phillips said it would bring the county into the 21st Century and the communications and reports would both be improved.

He didn’t envision any cost to the cities or any of the special districts when the new system is installed.

Chief deputy John Cottrell said that records management is a key part of the improvements. He believes the upgrades are very important for all emergency agencies.

No decision was made. Magistrates heard the first reading of the proposed budget last Tuesday.

Magistrates Joe Laswell and John Bradshaw said they had some changes and those should be ready before the June 5 meeting. Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts told magistrates that any changes made must be accompanied by a copy of a balanced budget.

She said her staff did not have the time to make all the changes.

The plan is to have a second reading of the budget at the June 19 meeting. A new budget must be approved by June 30.

The next meeting of Bullitt Fiscal Court will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5. The public is invited.