Busch retiring as director of Miami County (911) Communication Center

TROY – Jeff Busch is saying goodbye to law enforcement after more than 40 years in the profession, the last 13 as director of Miami County (911) Communication Center.

A Montgomery County resident, Busch began his career as a police cadet at the Centerville Police Department in 1974 after graduation from Sinclair Community College in law enforcement. He spent two years as a cadet because he was not yet age 21, the required age to be an officer, before taking on that role for seven years.

As a child, Busch’s dad was an auxiliary police officer, a status he said “had a fair amount of influence in my interest.” He also had a middle school guidance counselor who also worked part time as an officer. “At some point, I decided that was what I wanted to do,” he said of law enforcement.

As a cadet, Busch worked primarily as a department dispatcher for two years. “It was a whole lot different than it is today. I had a phone, a radio and a typewriter (at the dispatch desk),” he said.

After Centerville, he moved on to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in 1983 where he served as a deputy the first seven years, working in the jail, on motorcycle patrol for a time and then was promoted to sergeant and returned to a jail assignment.

“For people who don’t know me, I will say, ‘I spent eight years in jail’ … I got to go home every night,” he said with a laugh.

When promoted to lieutenant, Busch was put in charge of dispatch, then promoted to major and placed over the support division that included dispatch, technology, radio systems and related information.

He retired for five years but found he was too young for that role. When Miami County advertised for a new Communication Center director, he applied and was selected.

“It was the challenge, helping the community, being involved. I certainly was done with the sworn officer kind of job. I thought this was an ideal opportunity to put my skills and abilities to work, and hopefully provide good service to the Communication Center Board, the commissioners and the citizens,” he said.

Among major changes at the countywide dispatch center, which opened in 1990, was the transition from a county radio system to the Ohio MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communication System).

With another transition on the horizon, Busch said he thought it was time to step aside. The transition will include the Next Generation 911 project where all dispatch centers in the state will be connected.

The project could take up to five to seven years to complete. “I thought it was time to have the next generation leadership in place for the consistency to carry that through,” Busch said.

Beth Hull, an eight-year employee of the center, was appointed interim director by the county commissioners at the recommendation of the center’s board. The appointment was effective on the date of Busch’s departure.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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