County talks email services, sheriff’s cruisers

By Dean Wright -

GALLIPOLIS — Gallia County Commissioners gathered for their weekly meeting to discuss the rotation of aging Gallia Sheriff’s Office vehicles and potential new county email services among other issues.

“We’ve got emails that are going to other people’s junk mail or something and what do we need to do to correct that?” asked Commissioner Harold Montgomery of County Information Technology Director John Grubb.

Switch services, Grubb replied.

Commissioners mulled over service offerings, pricing, spam filtering and whether such services offered archival options and whether it would make information retrieval more efficient. Grubb said there was no option of long-term record retention within the county’s currently utilized email services. Electronic communications pertaining to county business are meant to be saved as per sunshine laws throughout Ohio. County Administrator Karen Sprague said county employees utilizing email communication are supposed to save such communications onto devices in case public record requests were made in some fashion, given there is currently no archival option with the county’s email service.

The Gallia Sheriff’s Office approached the commissioners after information technology issues were discussed.

“We are currently asking to purchase three vehicles,” said Gallia Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Troy Johnson, alongside Sheriff Matt Champlin. “Two of those would be used vehicles for patrol use and to get out on the highways for a total cost, including outfitting them with all the emergency lights, sirens, radios, etcetera, in the amount of $69,997.”

Commissioners approved the supplemental appropriation for the sheriff’s office.

“I would point out that informally we’ve determined it takes between three and four vehicles a year to replace the fleet that we have,” said Commissioner David Smith. “I think we all accept and understand that the (sheriff’s office fleet) we have is not the fleet we’d like to have. Several cars in the fleet have over 150,000 miles and some over 200,000 miles. This is not a solution to the problem but it helps in some cases.”

According to Gallia Sheriff’s Office Chief of Deputies Troy Johnson in past conversations, it is not uncommon to put over 30,000 miles on a police cruiser in a year traveling about Gallia as a deputy.

”Every year we try to replace at least a couple (cruisers),” said Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin in a previous conversation in September 2017. “We’ve done a study for what a (proper) rotation for an agency our size and the amount of miles we’re traveling is. We want to get on a rotation to decrease maintenance costs. Obviously, as cars age they start having problems. We’ve got a few cars in our fleet that are in excess or close to having 200,000 miles (on them). With a vehicle like that you can face many difficulties including maintenance, safety and efficiency.”

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright