November 23, 2014

Elyria
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Director of county’s 911 system retires

ELYRIA — Robin Jones retired Tuesday as director of the county’s 911 Call Center, an agency she has led since first being named acting director in 1998.

Jones, 58, started as a part-time dispatcher a little more than 23 years ago, one of the first group of dispatchers to hold that job.

“I’m really proud of this place,” Jones said during a send-off party her staff threw for her Tuesday.

Tracy Slagle, the 911 supervisor whom Lorain County Administrator Jim Cordes has recommended to replace Jones, said she’s been with the agency for 19 years and has worked closely with Jones since she started.

“Robin has been very dedicated to this agency,” Slagle said. “She has done great things for this agency.”

Jones said the call center on North Gateway Boulevard has grown from having one computer monitor to multiple computer stations. She’s overseen converting the technology to field wireless 911 calls and taking over dispatching for county Sheriff Phil Stammitti.

In total, 911 has a staff of 20 dispatchers, an administrative assistant and two supervisors, Slagle said, although as the county takes over dispatching services for other area police and fire departments, that staff is likely to grow.

There’s also the issue of Next Generation 911, a more advanced system that will allow dispatchers to better triangulate the locations of mobile phone callers.

That new system, coupled with the aging of the current location, likely will require the county to renovate the building or construct an entirely new call center, Cordes said. He said the county’s current backup 911 site at the Golden Acres Nursing Home is also showing its age.

Jones said she’s going to miss coming to work every day, but is pleased with the idea that the 43-year-old Slagle will likely be taking over.

“She’s very capable, so I leave it in good hands,” she said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.