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Missaukee County deputies welcome 911 system upgrades

Sheriff Bosscher says the old system made it difficult to communicate with surrounding counties.

MISSAUKEE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Missaukee County first responders will now have new technology and upgrades to their 911 system to help them respond to emergencies.

It’s thanks to a $150,000 rural development grant by the United States Department of Agriculture.

“We realize our system is starting to age basically our computer related equipment, ours is over 10 years old like any computer it’s going to break down,” said Missaukee County Sheriff Jim Bosscher. “We’re going to be replacing the backbone of our system in dispatch, and we’re also looking at replacing radios to 800 MHz for the sheriff’s office and EMS as a start.”

Sheriff Bosscher says the old system made it difficult to communicate with surrounding counties.

“We’re not able to talk to a lot of our neighboring counties because they’ve migrated to new technology, our dispatchers can talk, but not car to car," the sheriff said.

This will change with the upgrades.

“Any dispatch center is the key between the people in trouble in need and the emergency responders that are sent to help them,” said Ed Nettle, the 911 coordinator with the sheriff’s office. “So, it’s going to improve the communication with our 911 system providing us with a better system, increased accuracy, less downtime less maintenance.”

Deputies say this will also help dispatchers to help more with calling in assistance, and relaying messages so first responders have a better idea of what they may be walking into.

“The safety of the community and the safety of employees is going to improve with the new technology,” Bosscher said.

The upgrades will also allow the department to begin to use programs like SMART 911.

After 41 years with the Missaukee department, and 26 years in charge, Sheriff Bosscher has announced that he will be retiring. He will remain the sheriff through December 3rd.

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