A Staffing and Operations Analysis by RCC Consultants Inc., an international telecommunications company, makes these observations and recommendations for Trumbull County's 911 Center and answering points in the area:
Consolidation of other communities such as Liberty and Girard into the county's 911 "has real possibilities and should be actively secured as soon as possible."
The funding formula should be "totally overhauled." Locking the townships' financial contribution to 911 to a fixed share has had undesirable consequences. Increased fixed costs impact the county's budget, and there needs to be a cost-effective solution to 911 costs being borne by the entire citizenry of the county.
Trumbull County could pick up the entire cost and pay for it through some sort of assessment or sales tax, or there could be a two-tier payment by townships (50 percent of the fee based on population and 50 percent based on usage), or the townships' share should be raised one time "to cover the extraordinary costs that have arisen over the last few years."
The 911 Center per year handles 20,000 911 calls, 287,000 10-digit calls and 950,000 Law Enforcement Automated Data System requests.
Additional staff is called for, but staffing doesn't need to be at an even level across all shifts. People should be assigned to cover the peak demand time -- midafternoon.
The pressure on dispatchers is increased by the heavy volume of LEADS work. As cutbacks have occurred, police on patrol have been increasingly encountering a response of "stand by." One supervisor on duty is recommended to take on LEADS responsibility.
Supervisors shouldn't be used as part-time dispatchers unless critically needed.
The county could put many townships onto Liberty's platform, which is well served by mobile data from police in the field. The county should try to install mobile data terminals everywhere, at the same time. That way officers can access LEADS without having to radio in to a dispatcher.
Information-only calls to the 911 Center after township switchboards close pose a "serious distraction" from the primary mission of responding to 911 calls. "The county should be compensated for such service or else cease to accept such calls on behalf of the townships."
A discrete way for handling 10-digit wireless 911 calls from the Ohio State Highway Patrol needs to be set up.
Warren should remain the county 911's backup system.
The 911 Review Board should have more input on decisions such as budget and performance review. Right now county commissioners set departments' budgets.