WALKER -- Tim Richardson, Cass County's management information systems director, told the Cass County Board Tuesday changes in public safety communications could mean as much as a $3 million investment for the county over the next few years.
The county will need to update its dispatching and radio communications systems to match nation-wide changes, though he said details of those pending changes have not been finalized yet.
The board asked that this issue be added to the county capital improvement hearing Nov. 18.
Richardson reported all Cass County residents now are connected to the county's Enhanced 911 service. Final adjustments need to be made with telephone companies serving the county, however, he said.
The computerized system automatically enters the name and address of the landline phone from where emergency calls are made, saving dispatchers time typing names and addresses for records. The county computerized program recognizes names shown as last, comma, first, Richardson said.
A few telephone companies have not put the comma between first and last names into their system. A few others show first name before last name.
Without the comma, the county computer program will not capture the name for the record database, so it gets lost somewhere in the system, Richardson said sheriff's dispatchers have realized.
Richardson said he will notify the telephone companies involved about the necessity for using a comma in their databases. He expects that to correct the only problem experienced so far.
He also reported installing wiring on the communications tower in Walker last summer has improved radio communications with emergency services personnel in southern Cass County significantly. A repeater at Crooked Lake Township also has helped resolve former problems.
The county board voted Tuesday to add city and township pages to the county Web site at www.co.cass.mn.us. Information about all cities and townships in the county will be listed.
At the board's request, all county cars soon will show the county Web site either as a bumper sticker or stenciled on the vehicle trunk.
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