Putnam County 911 Director David Costin presented county commissioners with a request to purchase an interactive community notification system Tuesday.
It would be used to notify the public, county officials, law enforcement and emergency responders through a conventional phone line, email or cell phone text messaging of important information such as weather alerts.
"This could be used to notify a particular area of a missing child, a fugitive, sexual predators, road closings, school closings and emergency declarations like a tornado," said Costin.
Any message can be sent including pre-planned ones. This system notifies 10,000 dial tone lines in 15 minutes and will do email and text messaging instantly.
It can be used for the entire county or for select areas based on the need or the emergency.
The interactive community notification system can be accessed over the Internet and is user friendly. It utilizes the 911 database for its primary dial up and is updated by 911 on a regular basis.
Cost for the system is $15,600. This includes the equipment and 10,000 minutes of dial up. After that amount is used, 911 would pay $0.15 per minute.
"Annual renewal costs would be about $8,000 per year," added Costin.
Money to purchase the system would come from Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter's Forfeiture Fund.
"I've talked to Tim about this already and he is willing to pay for it," said Commissioner Gene Beck.
Commissioner Jim Baird asked for time to review the proposal before approving the purchase. He asked if there was any particular time line for purchasing the system.
"We would like to have it by early spring, in time for tornado season. It takes about 30 days to install and have ready to run," said Costin.
Commissioners tabled making a decision until their next meeting.