County considers upgrading E-911 phone system

Published 5:38 pm Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Troup County Board of Commissioners considered a request Tuesday to upgrade the aging E-911 phone system.

The current system has been in use for more than a decade, and it is now entering the end of its service agreement.

“Down at 911, there are three real components of our 911 system. We’ve got our radio system, the 911 call taking system and our computer record keeping system, which we call CAD,” said E-911 Director Jason Lawson. “Troup County 911 since 2008 has had the same call answering, 911 system company, Vesta Pallas, which is now Motorola.”

According to Lawson, in 2013, the owner of Vesta Pallas announced the end of product life for the system, but agreed to uphold service contracts until the end of the cycle. The county is now at the end of that agreement, and Lawson asked that the county upgrade equipment to newer versions of what has been used in the past.

“This is probably the most used system in the state,” Lawson said of the proposed system. “It is the newer version of what we’ve got.”

The county has already taken bids on the upgrade from Ryan Public Safety System for $177,080, Carousel for $222,659,.68 and Motorolla Solutions for $181,472.70. Despite the higher price, Lawson recommended that the county accept the bid from Motorola and continue receiving service from service contractor, Columbus Communications due to the county’s extensive positive history with the companies. He also pointed out that some of the features in the Motorola Solutions proposal were not present in the lowest bidder, RPSS’s, proposal.

Commissioner Ellis Cadenhead requested that Lawson confirm that maintenance is included in the cost prior to purchase. Meanwhile, Commissioner Lewis Davis asked how the new system would compare to the current system.

“It is a little bit more user friendly,” Lawson said. “From personally going through this upgrade, it is not a big learning curve, but it does make some of the features easier, like transferring calls out to the 911 centers. We get a lot from Harris, Merriweather and Coweta. It is a little bit simpler, with fewer steps, and y’all know that seconds save lives.”

Other items discussed during the meeting included:

  • The elections and registration department requested that the county lift the hiring freeze to fill a position of a retiring employee.
  • The Troup County Adult Mental Health Court requested that Troup County Board of Commissioners approve an amendment to the budget for the Mental Health Court Supplemental Award, which was accepted in June. According to Mental Health Court Coordinator Tiffany Hutchinson, the changes will better reflect the needs of the court.
  • Ernest Ward, the president of the Troup County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also lodged a complaint about county resources being utilized during a recent visit by gubernatorial candidate Casey Cagle. Commission Chairman Patrick Crews said that the use would not occur again in the future.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Avenue.