Shelby County begins Spot2 program

SIDNEY —A new program has been added to the tools of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to help ensure the safety of its residents.

“The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has received calls asking if we would consider a program like the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office’s SPOT program,” said Sheriff Jim Frye in a press release. “The SPOT program (Special Population Operations Team) is to increase the effectiveness of communication and interaction with residents of all ages that may have special considerations in case of an emergency call to their residence. With identifying those persons at specific residences, it will enable emergency services to know ahead of time that they may have a person with special needs and allow them to be prepared to assist those persons.”

The program will also help in situations where a person may not be following law enforcement’s commands due to an underlying condition, such as being deaf. The deputy would know ahead of time that they would have to make adjustments in how they handle a situation, making it better to serve those persons. This information will automatically be disseminated to deputies while enroute to a call and will help them prepare ahead of time, saving valuable time, which could save a life.

Such considerations may include but not limited to Alzheimer’s, Dementia, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, ADHD, developmental disability, Down Syndrome, blindness, deafness, language barriers or differently-abled.

“The initial sign-up step would be to contact our office to register your family member, you can contact Lt. Cori Steiner at 937-494-2109 or Gary Phipps at 937-498-1111. They will then get you a packet with the registration form and questionnaire. Once the information is completed, it will be entered into our dispatch system. This will allow for instant access to law enforcement and first respondersm” said Frye.

“In speaking with Sheriff (Mike) Vorhees, he has allowed us to copy their SPOT program and therefore we will call it SPOT 2. We are proud to be able to join the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office in this venture to better assist our citizens,” said Frye.