Athens Co. Commissioners Expected To Talk About Moving 911 Center

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The Athens County Commissioners are expected to address a proposal to move the 911 Center at their meeting this morning.

The call center is currently located in the basement of the Athens County Sheriff's Department.

Employees say the small, cramped space can get very loud.
Scott Warner, director of Athens County 911 operations, explained, "We need a bigger dispatch center and anything that we can do to move forward in that, I'm all in favor of."
Earlier this month, the 911 advisory board committee voted to recommend a stand-alone call center facility for the county to be built in response to complaints from numerous departments. The complaints included working under noisy conditions and performing administrative duties for the sheriff's department.
Last Thursday, the committee sent the recommendation in the form of a letter to the Athens County Commissioners.
Though the 911 Advisory Committee and Director Scott Warner feel it necessary to have a stand-alone 911 call center, Sheriff Pat Kelly has a different opinion: "Well I don't know who it is that's dissatisfied with being in my building. It's been there for the last 40 years and it's sufficed. I did see the letter, I was not at that meeting, we had not received notification but I have received a letter and their request to build a stand-alone agency away from the sheriff's office and I'm totally against that."
He says a separate workspace for dispatchers would be a rarity. "You're not going to find 911 agencies in the state of Ohio that stand alone away from a law enforcement agency," said Kelly.
Kelly also said that it would be a bad idea to take away the protection the sheriff's department offers the 911 call center in the current set-up.