HILL COUNTY (June 18, 2012)-The Hill County Sheriff's Office has put to use a $66,000 grant from the Heart of Texas Council of Governments to good use.
The money was used for upgrades to the communications and dispatch center and the call center was moved to a more secure area inside of the building allowing the department to be more in line with Criminal Justice Information System protocols, Hill County Sheriff Jeffrey Lyon said.
"Before, the center was in the front of the building…we now have to go through control access doors where there are more security cameras," Lyon said.
Other upgrades include adding a new communications position, upgrading computer monitors and software, and adding other equipment necessary to provide a more comfortable working environment.
It’s not the first upgrade in recent years for the office.
"In 2009, we became one of first in the area to integrate fully interoperable communications, meaning that the department has the ability to communicate with any agency passing through the county," Lyon said.
According to Lyon, the department has a close relationship with HOTCOG and kept a close eye on the grant opportunity that was awarded last year.
"We think that having the dispatch center more secured and in one place will be more efficient for the community," a department employee said.
Lyon says the communications center currently serves more than 15 different fire departments, all police, state park police and game wardens outside Hillsboro city limits.