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Boone-Nance could merge 911 communications here

Boone County law enforcement building and jail.

Recently, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office has considered the possibility of merging with the Nance County Sheriff’s Office for 911 communications.
The proposal was first discussed by Boone County Commissioners on July 25, and again on Monday, July 30.
The proposal is to move all 911 services to Boone County.
Sheriff Denny Johnson said there would need to be a minimum of two additional full time employees and one part-time employee in the Sheriff’s office to make the merger possible.
Boone County has already been looking into upgrading its radio console system to meet state standards. Sheriff Johnson estimated the cost would be about $240,000 to replace two consoles.
This merger would cut the cost down significantly for Boone County, as some of the cost responsibility would fall on Nance County.
Nance County is also requesting the use of Boone County’s jail as part of the agreement, as they would like to have a centralized place to house inmates.
Nance County Sheriff Ben Bakewell said this would guarantee at least $50,000 to Boone County annually.
He said the decision needs to be made soon, as he will need to hire another dispatcher if the merger does not happen.
Tim Cornwell, member of the Nance County Board of Supervisors, said he feels Boone County would be a better fit for Nance County, in comparison to other options.
Overall, all parties agreed that the new system would be beneficial to both counties and improve communication.
Boone County Commissioners approved a request by both sheriffs to move forward with reaching out to Stacen Gross, 911 communications consultant, to determine the costs of this merger and how it should be handled.
At their regular meeting Monday, July 30, commissioners approved the $1,000 fee for consulting services from Gross.
According to the consulting agreement, the services should be completed within 30 days or less.

Read the complete story in the Aug. 1 Albion News & Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.