The Ohio Development Service Agency has awarded Summit County, Stow, Cuyahoga Falls, Tallmadge and Mogadore a $500,000 grant for costs related to the purchase of a computer aided dispatch system, according to a press release issued by Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro's office today.

The grant is in connection with a proposed consolidation of dispatch services by the county, Stow, Cuyahoga Falls and Tallmadge, says the press release.

Currently Stow dispatches for itself and, through service contracts, for Tallmadge, Mogadore and Randolph Township. Cuyahoga Falls dispatches for itself and Munroe Falls, Silver Lake and the Boston Heights police department through contracts. The Summit County Sheriff's office dispatches for the Green and Lakemore police departments, the Akron-Canton Regional Airport and several townships it polices under contracts, including Northfield Center, Springfield and Twinsburg Township.

Advancements in communications technology have required communities to update software from what was developed before the introduction of smart phones and other devices, according to the press release. With this in mind, the county and communities applied for the grant. They are currently pricing CAD systems that would be used by the proposed consolidated dispatch center, as well as Akron, which is not part of the proposed consolidation effort. It is estimated the total cost of a CAD system will be between $4 million and $5 million.

In the press release, Shapiro said the upgrade will be "an essential piece of the technology infrastructure we need as our current systems age and reach their end-of-life."

The press release said that even if the county and communities do not consolidate dispatching, they will still be able to use the grant to purchase a shared dispatch system.

For more on this story, see the April 2 issue of the Cuyahoga Falls News-Press.