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Sheriff educates Rotary about ‘Smart 911’ system

March 10, 2016
Westfield Republican

Yes, Joe Gerace is one very happy Chautauqua County Sheriff. Why? Because a lifesaving system for everyone in the county began March 2, the day after his visit to the Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club.

"'Smart 911' can pinpoint a person's location," he said, adding that this program will be able to have 99 percent coverage for everyone in the county. It wasn't always that way, he noted.

Gerace has 34 years of law enforcement experience on the books, and became sheriff in 1995. And, as with most organizations affiliated with the law, he has had his share of frustration. Before Smart 911, other programs were not sufficient when it came to finding people in need. For instance, when someone called for help, the radio system between the county office and local rescue organizations didn't work, ergo, it took too long to rescue anyone in trouble.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace was greeted by Rotarian Mike Harrington.

It took some time, Gerace noted, but eventually all communications were in sync, which led to today's capability for people to be saved from robbery, illness, death and destruction.

The Sheriff's Office Communications Center is responsible for answering 911 calls, all administrative calls for service in Chautauqua County and for dispatching appropriate police, fire and EMS service units. It also is responsible for the dispatching of 40 volunteer fire/EMS departments, two full-time fire departments, seven full-time police departments, and one part-time police department.

In addition to rescuing people, the sheriff's department operates 26 other divisions from A to Z. The Mayville headquarters is located at 15 E. Chautauqua Street and its phone number is 753-4900.



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