307.63 Establishing countywide public safety communications system.

(A) As used in this section, "countywide public safety communications system" means a system of communications facilities, equipment, and services that helps to provide immediate field exchange of police, fire, and emergency medical services information between the county and participating states, political subdivisions, and other public entities, without regard to which jurisdiction holds title to real or personal property used in the system or employs the persons responsible to dispatch emergency personnel using the system.

(B) A board of county commissioners may establish a countywide public safety communications system. The system shall be operated in accordance with division (B)(1), (2), or (3) of this section.

(1) In any county with a population of less than seven hundred fifty thousand, the county sheriff shall operate the countywide public safety communications system unless, before commencing operation of the system, the sheriff gives written notice to the board of county commissioners that he chooses not to do so. After the board of county commissioners receives such written notice from the sheriff, the board shall operate the system. Once the sheriff gives notice that he chooses not to operate the system, neither he nor any person occupying the office of county sheriff in the future may choose to operate the system at a later date, except as provided in division (B)(3) of this section.

(2) In any county with a population of seven hundred fifty thousand or more, the board of county commissioners shall operate the system, unless the board and the county sheriff mutually agree that the sheriff will operate the system.

(3) In any county, after the board of county commissioners commences operation of a public safety communications system, if the board chooses to stop operating the system, the county sheriff may operate the system.

(C) The board of county commissioners may construct, acquire, or contract for communications facilities for the public safety communications system. In addition, the board may acquire or contract for computers and other equipment in connection with the system, provide equipment to the users of the system, maintain the facilities and equipment, employ personnel or contract for personal services, and exercise other powers as necessary to operate the system. The board may adopt policies or rules for the administration, operation, and maintenance of the system. If the county sheriff is the operator of the system, he may employ personnel in connection with the operation of the system.

(D) The board of county commissioners may enter into agreements with this state, political subdivisions of this state, an adjoining state or any of its political subdivisions, or any other public entity concerning the use of the countywide public safety communications system.

(E) A board of township trustees may enter into an agreement with the board of county commissioners pursuant to division (D) of this section.

(F) The authority granted to a county sheriff under division (B) of this section to operate a countywide public safety communications system does not apply in any county where, on and before the effective date of this section, the board of county commissioners is providing public safety communications facilities to, or coordinating the public safety communications needs of, municipal corporations, townships, or other entities or officials by means of officials or with employees not under the direct supervision of the county sheriff. However, if such a board of county commissioners and the county sheriff mutually agree that the sheriff will operate a countywide public safety communications system, he may operate it.

(G) Nothing in this section requires a county sheriff in a county with a population of less than seven hundred fifty thousand to use the public safety communications system to dispatch his employees.

Cite as R.C. § 307.63

History. Effective Date: 03-15-1993