Waushara Sheriff’s Department 911 Dispatch Center receives a much-needed face-lift

Following a $300,000 budget surplus in 2015 and approval from the Waushara County Board of Supervisors, the Waushara County Sheriff Department was able make the necessary upgrades to the 911 System and Dispatch Center in order to better serve the community.

Every five years it is recommended by CenturyLink to upgrade the 911 Systems with the latest technologies which can often be quite costly, according to Waushara County Sheriff Jeff Nett.

After speaking with CenturyLink, the sheriff’s department’s phone provider, Sheriff Nett found the five-year upgrade for just the 911 System could cost up to $200,000. The funds for the upgrade were unable to be set aside in the budget, according to Sheriff Nett.

“The State of Wisconsin has always collected monies from phones on customer phone bills for 911 upgrades, but about 10 years ago the state took that money away from the counties and the cities and used it to balance their budget,” said Sheriff Nett. “The state never provided any money for this upgrade so we had to do it all out of our budget.”

From Sheriff Nett’s understanding of how the funds were once distributed to the state’s 911 System administrators, the $150,000 needed for the CenturyLink upgrade would have been paid for by the state.

Not knowing how the sheriff’s department could fund the upgrade, Sheriff Nett knew the department had a $300,000 surplus in 2015 due to some vacant positions. He asked the Waushara County administration, Public Safety Committee and Waushara County Board of Supervisors if he could use this surplus for the upgrade.

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