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Officials seek new dispatch system
Glynn County technology and public safety officials are asking the county commission to spend almost $900,000 to replace outdated equipment in the 911 emergency dispatch center.

The Glynn County Information Technology Department is requesting $402,000 to purchase a new 911 call handling system from AT&T and $485,000 to contract with Spillman Technologies for a new computer-assisted dispatch system. It is also asking for $20,000 for records management software for the county fire department.

The county commission finance committee will be asked today to recommend the spending to the full commission.

Much of the funding is to come from the 911 department's budget, but the county general fund and the city of Brunswick are funding sources for the computer software. The county fire department will share in the expense for the records management program.

"The old system's been in (the 911 center) since it was built," Glynn County Fire Chief Al Thomas said. "Part of the problem is the older software is no longer supported."

Interim 911 Director Steve Usher said the current phone system is about a decade old and uses equipment that is no longer serviceable. A new system could receive alerts in a variety of ways, including text messaging.

Similarly, Usher said the current dispatch system is nearing the end of its life. The county can no longer get updates for the program, he said.

"The (county Geographic Information System) has great maps for us to use, but we can't even use it," Usher said. "We're limited by the equipment. (With the new system), we'll be able to have Web links attached to it, pictures, owner information. It speeds up the process, and time is essential for us."

A new computer system will be made available to responders in the field and provides for an informational hub that connects all systems, including a cloud storage system (hosted by a third party instead of on-site) requested by the fire department for records.

The finance committee also will vote on whether to recommend outsourcing the county's mosquito abatement services to a private company. County Administrator Alan Ours said it has been difficult to keep a qualified mosquito abatement manager on staff, specifically an entomologist with the background for dealing with mosquitoes.

By contracting with Mosquito Control Services of Georgia, Ours said the county doesn't have to stay abreast of the science of the insects or track which chemicals work best in reducing their populations.

"Public safety is the board of commissioners' No. 1 concern," Ours said. "Public health is a very big part, and keeping a controlled mosquito population is very important."

The finance committee will meet at 3 p.m. today in the third floor conference room of the county's Harold Pate Building, 1725 Reynolds St., Brunswick.

* Reporter Kelly Quimby writes about government and other local topics. Contact her at kquimby@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.



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