TERRE HAUTE —
A software upgrade that aids Vigo County emergency dispatch officers could be adapted to allow citizens to send in photographs of accidents.
“People can send text messages to the dispatch as well as a photograph in an emergency. Then a dispatcher can determine just how bad that crash is — is it something that we need to launch a helicopter based on what we have seen,” Sheriff Greg Ewing said Tuesday following a meeting of the Vigo County Council.
“It is the next step in public safety to get the appropriate services to the people,” Ewing said.
The council approved two measures, each by 5-0 votes, totaling $549,000 for INTERACT Public Safety, which will replace the county’s outgoing CISCO Public Safety software. The software is used as part of the county’s computer-aided dispatch, or CAD System. Council members Kathy Miller and Bill Thomas were absent.
The software update is required as CISCO Public Safety was bought out by Global Software Corp., a division of Harris. Global last year announced it would no longer enhance the previous software.
“Another thing this system will do is when an officer runs a license plate, it automatically goes out through the system and runs the probable driver,” Ewing told the council.
“It looks at who is the registered owner of that car and it runs that driver’s license against warrants and wanted files. It is all automated, so before that officer engages in a traffic stop, he has the information at his fingertips whether that person, who is more than likely the driver, is wanted,” Ewing said.
Of the total, $149,0002 will come from the County Adjusted Gross Income Tax and $400,000 from fees collected from cellular and landline telephones. More money, which did not require an appropriation from the council, will be used to cover the software’s total price tag of $609,000. That includes $20,000 from the county’s information technology department and $40,000 from county’s 911 budget.
n On another issue, the council approved $900,000 to the county’s highway department for road repair. Vigo County Commissioners had sought $1.5 million for road repairs that the commissioners seek to start in the spring. The figure was reduced to $900,000 to match anticipated state income in 2014.
Last year, the Indiana General Assembly diverted 1 percent of the state sales tax into a fund for local roads, streets and bridges and placed a retirement pension plan for the Indiana State Police back into the state’s general fund. That measure returned some motor fuel tax funds back to Indiana counties.
The council’s appropriation is simply an advance payment on that expected funding, said County Auditor Tim Seprodi. “We are getting about $53,000 a month from the state now,” he said.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or email@example.com.