Dropped emergency calls cost Bexley

The city of Bexley will foot the bill for the cost of a technical oversight after failing recording equipment in the police department contributed to several dropped emergency calls.

After the city switched to the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) system, an Internet dependent telephone line, last year, the police department experienced problems with its recording equipment making it difficult to interpret recordings of non-emergency and emergency calls and radio transmissions, according to the Bexley Chief of Police Lawrence Rinehart.

The equipment has since degraded to an extent that interpreting any calls or transmissions is almost impossible.

The cost of the new, VOIP compatible equipment will total $40,000.

"I hate to ask for money," said Rinehart at the June 24 Bexley City Council meeting.

"The police department has always prided itself of on accurate budgeting and has been successful so far. We share in the frustration of unexpected costs."

The equipment is essential to the police department as it is required by law to record all incoming calls and transmissions for litigation and investigation purposes.

Other Bexley news

•Council approved a $6.6 million advancement to cover the paying costs of the new Bexley Police Station in order to move forward with the process.

According to Rinehart, the bids for the project will be collected in July and construction is expected to begin in September.

The council expects to be reimbursed the $6.6 million with the proceeds of bonds.

"This ensures that the type of police department that we have now will be around 5, 10, 20 years from now," said a grateful Rinehart.

The only dissenting opinion came from Council President Matt Lampke who, despite looking forward to a new police station, expressed worry that the lack of outside funding for the project will hold voters hostage to a tax increase.

•Like everyone else, the city of Bexley is experiencing the effects of increasing gas prices. Council unanimously approved $60,000 to go toward purchasing fuel for vehicles and equipment for 2008.   

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