NP to research automated voice systems

By Kelsey Kimbler -

NEW PARIS — New Paris Village Council and the New Paris Police Department are discussing opting into a system like One Call Now, which all Preble County school districts currently utilize. The automated voice system would allow the village to notify residents of any village-wide emergencies or situations.

During a meeting on Monday, Feb. 4, council member Erin Kovach shared her research on the topic with council.

“I did call around to every school district in the county — they are all using the One Call Now, which seems very popular. It is based on how many calls we send out – I gave them 1,600 for the full population, and we would do maybe one a month, so we’re looking at 19,000 messages a year if they all go through,” Kovach said.

“It is 11 cents per call, up to 20,000 calls. It is $2,200 a year, plus a one-time $95 fee. That is a 45-second voicemail, there is a 160 character text. It is only charged to us when it is a successful delivery. Unsuccessful calls or bad numbers do not get charged.”

She also contacted a company called VoiceShot.

“It is only a phone call, there is no text messages with that. It is 12 cents per phone call, and it all pre-pay so it is only per use. It is not a standard fee — they don’t have a contract, there is no official fee, it is only 12 cents per phone call. Again, it is only for successful phone calls,” Kovach said.

“I have experience with the One Call Now and it is a very nice company, but it is a package deal. It just depends on how many we have interested in joining something like this.”

She had contact information for both companies and asked for direction on whether to move forward.

“I’ve also been looking into it for the police department. There are a couple different things I’ve been looking into, which run similar to that. The one, the residents can opt into it by texting a number and it puts them on a list. For emergencies, I would be able to push through messages to their phone and email. I’ve been looking into that,” Police Chief Jeremy Schroeder said.

Council agreed to further research the systems and to pool resources with the NPD, to determine which company to move forward with.

In other business:

•Council elected Ralph Dungan as the new Council President.

•Police Chief Schroeder shared his safety report for January 2019: the police department handled 96 calls for service, took 15 reports, made four arrests, issued nine citations, and gave 27 warnings.

•The village will be upgrading the security system at the New Paris Municipal Building. A new camera system will be installed.

New Paris Village Council will hold its next regular council meeting on Monday, March 4, at 7 p.m., in the municipal building.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH