Sheriff adds better phone backup

GREENPORT–To ensure its emergency phone service always works, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is both changing its backup internet phone provider and adding some landline phones, County Sheriff David Bartlett said at the County Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee meeting last month.

With all of his office’s phone service via the internet, “we’ve lost emergency phones for several hours. That’s not acceptable. I can’t have it,” Sheriff Bartlett added.

Windstream, the company that provided internet backup service, “has been down several times, and its speed is terrible,” the sheriff said.

Subsequently the full board authorized “an agreement” with First Light to provide internet backup for the Sheriff’s Office, at its meeting August 14. First Light is to replace Windstream.

“First Light has a backup internet system that is better suited for county needs and will cost the same monthly amount,” said the resolution adopted by the full County Board.

And for extra assurance, Sheriff Bartlett said, he plans to re-introduce some landline phones.

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