SIDNEY — A dream came true Tuesday for Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart when the new dispatch center went live.
“We turned the switch on Tuesday,” said Lenhart during his weekly interview. The new center he said, will increase the office’s capability in searching records for information
“If a person comes upon an accident, they will be able to take photos or videos of the crash and send them to the dispatch center,” said Lenhart. “Dispatch can then send the photos and videos to deputies and rescue personnel in the field. They can look at them and determine if they need more personnel dispatched to the scene.”
Lenhart said the center has been in the planning and development stages for 2-plus years.
“The system cost $489,000,” said Lenhart. “It was expensive. We started saving for this several year ago>’
Funds to cove-er the cost of the center came from:
* The inmate trust fund. When an inmate purchases an item, the profit from the item goes into the trust fund.
• Drug funds. Drugs or money seized by the office goes into the fund.
• DUI funds. When a person is arrested for a DUI(, a portion of the fund goes into the fund.
T94 Account. 25 cents per month from cellphone bills and 20 cents from landline bills goes into the account.
“This cost a substantial amount of money and we started saving for it,” said Lenhart. “I’d like to thank the commissioners, this plan was a cooperative effort and they allowed us to make this state of the art technology possible.
Lenhart’s safety tip of the week deals with the proper use of a ladder.
“With the last week, people have started putting up their Christmas decorations and lights outside,” said Lenhart. “I have farm friends who climb on their combines. They need to remember frost will freeze quickly on the equipment.
“When you put a foot on a piece of steel with ice on it, it’s like ice skating,” he said.
He said 90,000 people fall from ladders yearly.
“Ninety-nine percent of the falls off ladders are at home,” he said. “There are 300 deaths annually from falls across the United States.”
Many of the falls happen, he said, when people are putting up Christmas decorations or cleaning out the gutters at their house..
“If you fall 2 to 3 feet from the ground can get you just as hurt if you fall 8 or 9 feet,” said Lenhart. “The older you get, the more you can get hurt.”
Lenhart said you need to have “the right ladder for the right job.”
“You should never get on the top step of he ladder,” he said. “Each ladder has a rating — and you should take into account your weight and the weight of the tools you might be using.”
He said there are step ladders that are 4 to 6 feet tall and extension ladders up to 18 feet tall.
“Use the ladder that fits the job,” he said.
He said if a person is wearing a belt, they should always keep it between the ladder steps.
“You should always have three points of contact with your body when you’re on the ladder,” he said.
You should always move the ladder to a new location so that you are not reaching to do the work, he said.
“When carrying the ladder, always carry it horizontal,” said Lenhart. “And make sure you stay away from electrical lines.”
Always read the safety labels on the ladder, he said, and make sure you lock the ladder down so it doesn’t wobble.
“Don’t overreach when you’re on the ladder,” he said. “Remember you three points of contact and have your torso between the rungs of the ladder.”
The Sidney Daily News conducts a weekly interview to update readers with news from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 555 Gearhart Road, Sidney.