Sheriff’s contract with SMSU to provide dispatching approved

MARSHALL — The Lyon County Board on Tuesday approved a contract proposal presented by the sheriff’s office to enter into a new contract with Southwest Minnesota State University to provide dispatching and telephone answering services.

Lyon County Sheriff Eric Wallen said the contract with SMSU Professional and Technical Services has been on a yearly basis, but proposed a three-year extension. He added that the calls go through their office if nobody is on campus to answer them.

“For the past several years we have had this contract on a year-to-year basis with SMSU and the dispatch services with the public safety department,” Wallen said. “If they are not staffing that office or if someone is out on campus, the phones roll over to our office and we maintain radio communication with their security staff and they will call us if they need assistance.”

Wallen said the volume of calls they receive to provide dispatch services is minimal, with the majority of calls being able to unlock facilities if security is not on staff.

“It’s minimal; most of the calls that we get are early in the mornings or on the weekends,” Wallen said. “I don’t know if their staff is quite on duty yet, but we get calls from security to open up the gymnasium or open up this lab for a professor or student if they need it, that seems to be the majority of the stuff we get.”

Wallen added that the rates of the contract have stayed the same for the past four years. The new rates will begin at $624.18 per month for the first year, with a 1% increase every year.

The new contract, which began on July 1, will be in effect until June 30, 2023.


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