The Allen County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center staff consists of 15 civilian dispatchers. The Allen County Sheriff’s Office can dispatch police and/or fire calls for the following communities and departments:
- Allen County Sheriff’s Office
- Marion Township Police
- Spencerville Police Department
- American Township Police Department
- Elida Police Department
- Ft. Shawnee Police Department
- Perry Township Police Department
- Allen County Metro Park rangers
- Delphos Police Department
- Spencerville Invincible Fire Department
- Spencerville Emergency Medical Service
- American Township Fire Department and EMS
- Shawnee Township Fire Department
- Cairo Fire Department
- Bath township Fire and Emergency Medical Service
- Bluffton Police Department
- Bluffton Fire and Emergency Medical Service
- Beaverdam Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service
- Lafayette Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service
- Westminster Fire Department
- Harrod Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service
Through the Allen County Sheriff’s Office radio system, the Communications Center and patrol personnel from the above listed agencies can communicate with a number of other government agencies, including:
- Allen County Emergency Management Agency/Office of Homeland Security
- Allen County Engineer’s Office
- Sheriff’s Offices in other surrounding counties
- Police Departments in other surrounding cities
The ability to communicate allows for better coordination between agencies when working together in various situations, particularly emergencies.
HISTORY OF ALLEN COUNTY 9-1-1 SYSTEM
On May 29, 1985 the Ohio State Senate passed House Bill 491, which was signed into law by governor Richard F. Celeste on June 18, 1985. That Bill provided for indirect subsidy by the Senate of the initial costs of the various telephone companies for what was intended to become a statewide 9-1-1 public safety emergency dispatching system.
At the time the Bill was passed, the original sponsors of the Bill estimated it would/could be twenty years, or until 2005, before the 9-1-1 service was available throughout the State of Ohio.
In early 1986, the Allen County Commissioners were approached by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Leech to explore the possibility to establish a countywide 9-1-1 telephone system. The Leeches did this due to a tragic event that occurred in their lives on Shawnee Road in which an emergency response was delayed because no one could remember the seven-digit telephone number to the Shawnee Township Fire Department.
On March 18, 1986, the Allen County Commissioners passed a resolution formally establishing the Allen County 9-1-1 Planning Committee headed by Commissioner Donald A. Reese. This committee was formed to evaluate several types of 9-1-1 systems, and recommend the best plan for the Allen County system. From this committee, a sub-committee, which was named the Allen County 9-1-1 Technical Planning Committee, was formed of thirty-seven members and chaired by John C. Brookman, Chief of the Lima Fire Department. This committee was charged with the responsibility of developing a plan of implementing a countywide 9-1-1 system for Allen County. All are fire department chiefs were given the opportunity to review the recommendations made by the Technical Planning Committee. Allen County’s “final plan” was written by the Technical Advisory Committee, represented a 16 month effort by those committee members and defines how, when and where a 9-1-1 system should be established within Allen County.
On March 17, 1988, the Allen County Commissioners named a seven member committee to govern the operational procedures of the Allen County E9-1-1 telephone system. This committee, which was recommended by the Allen County 9-1-1 Technical Planning Committee, was formed to oversee and set operational policies of the Allen County E9-1-1 Emergency Telephone System. It consisted of representatives of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, the Lima Police Department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol Post #2, the Allen County Firefighters Association, a member from the most populous Allen County township and a representative from the city of either Delphos or Bluffton. The representatives of this board serve a two (2) year term and are still in effect to this date. Allen County Emergency Management Agency Director J. Tom Tilson, was appointed chairman of the Allen County 9-1-1 Governing Board.
The Allen County 9-1-1 Governing Board decided to name an Allen County 9-1-1 Coordinator to oversee and implement the concepts created by the Allen County 9-1-1 Technical Advisory Committee. Allen County Sheriff Charles W. Harrod nominated a member of his department, Deputy Timothy G. Garlock as the Allen County 9-1-1 Coordinator.
In May of 1998, Deputy Garlock was assigned to this position while remaining a member of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Garlock was to act as a “central point of contact” with other governmental and business leaders concerning the Allen County E9-1-1 Telephone System. He was also charged with evaluating 9-1-1 equipment and oversee its installation at both PSAP locations, develop critical operational policies and procedures adopted by the Allen County 9-1-1 Governing Board as a standard for operation for both PSAP locations, supervise training both sets of Communication Operators on those policy and procedures, establishing emergency response zones within Allen County and writing a countywide master street address database to answer to the Allen County 9-1-1 Governing Board.
On December 13, 1989, the Allen County E9-1-1 Telephone System was activated. A kick-off breakfast was held at the Allen County Veteran’s Memorial Civic Center. Many local Government, City Officials and business leaders attended. The first official 9-1-1 call was ceremoniously made by Mrs. Thomas Leech.