Text-to-911 May Follow State Grant Funding

Local News

ZANESVILLE, Ohio — Millions in state grant money just announced by Gov. Mike DeWine’s office, through the Ohio Dept. of Commerce, may help provide financing for a text-to-9-1-1 system for the Muskingum Co. Sheriff’s Office.

“We put a new dispatch center together and bought some new equipment. That equipment actually has come to the end of its life as far as the warranty and when it’s supposed to expire. Obviously that equipment isn’t going to just shut down, but it does start putting you in the frame of mind that stuff could go wrong with it,” says Sheriff Matt Lutz.

Lutz says the money, if granted to the county, would pay for up to sixty cents on every dollar of cost for the new text-to-9-1-1 equipment.

“The next generation stuff enables us to begin receiving text 9-1-1 calls instead of just regular 9-1-1 calls. The Zanesville Police Department already has this equipment. Their equipment end-of-life came up before ours did, a couple of years back, I think it was. Then the next-gen technology started the end of last year, first of this year. So, they haven’t gone to that, I believe. So we’re hoping to get this equipment so we both can go online,” he said.

Sheriff Lutz says the new equipment could be in place in as few as six to nine months if the money comes through.