Commissioners discuss issues with Brightspeed


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — According to the Darke County Commissioners, issues with the internet provider that caused problems with the Darke County Sheriff Office’s phone system recently are being investigated.

Commissioner Larry Holmes shared a conversation the commissioners had with Sheriff Mark Whittaker earlier in the day regarding the phone lines going down July 4-5 with issues lingering to July 6 and 7. Holmes stressed 9-1-1 continued to operate and all calls were received. The issue was with the support lines to the office.

Holmes said, “Most disturbing to us, or to me, at least, was how unresponsive Brightspeed is to a critical service. They kept 9-1-1 going, but the support services that come on the general line, they do not consider the Sheriff’s Office a priority, a critical need out there. So, we really need to look at either Brightspeed being more supportive and committing to that support or where alternatives would take us.”

According to Holmes, the Sheriff’s Office is currently working on the issue with the internet provider. “They’re actually working on that. With the holidays, they really didn’t get off until this morning. Several of his (Sheriff Whittaker) staff are involved in that. Looking at what happened and how to keep it from happening again.”

Holmes did not rule out going with another provider, like Spectrum.

The sheriff’s office did report some gaps in coordination with law enforcement as a result of the disruption in phone service. The commissioners pointed out that the Sheriff’s Office does have a protocol in place for issues like this. They were able to patch the detective’s line into their system and personal cell phones were used to return phone calls.

Commissioner Matt Aultman said 9-1-1 is a direct line and always works unless the whole phone system goes down. It’s a fiber system that runs directly from the box to 9-1-1. There are no taps or interruptions.

Aultman explained the Sheriff’s Office was part of a large swath of the region that expanded to north of Logan County that had issues with Brightspeed. Although 9-1-1 is considered a priority, Sheriff Whittaker and the commissioners want to make sure the rest of the Sheriff’s Office is considered a critical need and is a priority.

The commissioners said that all 9-1-1 calls were received to the dispatch center.

The Sheriff’s Office notified the public of the phone lines being down through social media.

Darke County Economic Development Director Mike Bowers introduced his office’s Career Connections Coordinator to the commissioners. Todd Schilling began in the newly created role on Monday, July 10. Bowers said, “It’s great to have him on board. It’s great to have his knowledge.” He will be working with the county’s school districts and employers to help students make a sound career decision and allow them to experience the world of work. Schilling said, “I’m really excited to be part of the Darke County community and helping build a pipeline for future employment here for all of the businesses that are here.”

Commissioner Aultman also gave an update on the Darke County OSU Extension Office. The Family and Consumer Science position, previously held by Dr. Roseanne Scammahorn is now listed and applications are currently being accepted. The application period has closed for the newly created Community Development position and The Ohio State University is currently going through the review process. Aultman believes something will be coming from that in the next couple of weeks. The 4-H educator position, previously held by Rhonda Williams, has been posted and is open for applications. He believes they will accept applications for four to six weeks.

The Darke County Commissioners meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. in the Darke County Administration Building.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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