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Norwood To Merge 911 Service With Hamilton County


Updated: Jan. 28, 3 p.m.

Hamilton County commissioners Thursday gave final approval to taking over 911 dispatching for the city of Norwood. County Administrator Jeff Aluotto says they’ve been working to de-fragment the county's emergency communication system.

"Norwood was one of three remaining public safety answering points in the county," Aluotto told commissioners Thursday. "With this contact we will be down to two: Hamilton County and the areas that we serve, and the city of Cincinnati."

Aluotto says the transition is a huge policy accomplishment for the county. The change takes effect Monday.

Norwood City Council approved the deal earlier this month. 

Hamilton County Communications Director Andy Knapp says the goal is to make the change as smoothly as possible.

"Based on the analysis we've done, we're comfortable we can absorb them with not just the no budget impact, but I don't want to negatively impact the service level that we provide to any of our residents and the responders," Knapp says.

Norwood handles about 22,000 911 calls a year. Knapp tells county commissioners last year, his department handled 249,000. "As you take those metrics… the absorption of that, in our current environment, should not prove to be a challenge whatsoever."

Norwood's 911 center has eight full time employees. Five are being transferred within the city; one so far has applied to work with Hamilton County's dispatch.

County Commissioner Denise Driehaus says she's excited about the merger.

"The city and the county have their own systems, but to bring Norwood in … is a big deal," she says. "I think it'll offer some continuity of service. It's going to save Norwood some money and it's at no expense to the county." 

Reading, Symmes Township, Loveland, Amberley Village, Deer Park and Indian Hill all still handle some of their own call-taking or dispatching.

This story was first published Jan. 19 and has been updated.

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Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio: and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.
Becca Costello