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Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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Published: Monday, 3/31/2014

Rossford moves toward new dispatch system

Ohio to discontinue use of current method

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Rossford took a step last week toward adopting a new system for its police and fire dispatching records management.

City council gave first reading to a proposal to join the city to the computer-aided dispatch and records management system operated by Northwood. Three readings are required for adoption.

Rossford has been using a system offered to small government units by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, but last year the state agency said it would discontinue the service. Under the arrangement with Northwood, Rossford would pay $59,916 initially and an annual fee of $12,897.81. Lake Township would continue dispatching.

Officials in Walbridge and Lake Township plan to join Northwood’s system too. Ken Frost, Walbridge’s administrator and police chief, said he will ask village council for authorization to do so.

“We actually looked into this about a year ago, and everyone on council at the time was well on board,” he said.

Mark Hummer, Lake township’s administrator and police chief, said money to use Northwood’s system had been budgeted this year, and he said he plans to make a formal request to the trustees for authorization to use it.

Northwood police Chief Tom Cairl said his department has been using the system, by ALERT Public Safety Systems, since 2006 and had room for more communities.

Chief Cairl noted that Northwood would benefit from having its neighboring communities on board because the ALERT system would allow his patrolling officers to see from their vehicles what law-enforcement resources were nearby and to what other departments were responding.

“The good thing for us is that with all of us using one system, we’ll know what crime is on our borders,” he said.

Chief Hummer has been spearheading a plan to set up a regional dispatching service for Lake Township, Millbury, Northwood, Rossford, and Walbridge. If that effort becomes a reality, the ALERT system would dovetail nicely with it, he said.

In other business at Rossford’s council meeting, Mayor Neil MacKinnon said a demolition crew had torn down a nuisance property at 545 Glenwood Rd., owned by Louis Bauer, Rossford’s mayor from 1975 to 1991.

The demolition crew was sent in when Mr. Bauer violated a settlement pact with the city, Rossford Administrator Ed Ciecka said.

Police Chief Glenn Goss said Mr. Bauer then interfered with the demolition and was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing official business, both misdemeanors. Mr. Bauer was released on his own recognizance.

Mr. Bauer called the charges “bogus and malicious,” and said he may file lawsuits against city officials. He added that he was not allowed to remove “thousands of dollars” worth of personal property before the demolition.



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