VALPARAISO — Anthony Stua has been preparing for this day for the past few weeks.
As the new Director of Communications for Porter County Central Communications 911, Stua was ready Tuesday morning when all law enforcement agencies migrated to the new 700MHz system.
"I'm very appreciative and proud to be a part of Porter County as well as the 911 center and help us to make some strides toward the future," Stua said.
The center transitioned to the higher quality radio communications system Tuesday morning ahead of the Porter County Commissioner's meeting. Stua said the transition "went along smoothly."
"One thing I'm very proud of to be here for is the 911 center has been performing above industry standards in call answering," Stua said, adding that 99.4% of calls are answered within 10 seconds and in 2018, 100% of calls were answered within 20 seconds.
In 2016, the Porter County Commissioners voted to spend nearly $4.4 million to move to the new radio communications system. Work started in 2018 and finished with the setup of the new system at the former county jail, 157 Franklin St.
Previously, Stua was the Deputy Director of Support Services for Lake County 911 after he was the director of Cicero 911. He said he made that transition to "learn more about a larger department." He's been the director in Porter County since Sept.
"I wanted the chance to actually instigate change, maybe be more of a leader ... I believe I do better overall with operations and personnel," Stua said.
Former Director of Communications Robert Lanchsweerdt submitted his resignation in August after two years in the position. 911 Communications has had five directors over the past 10 years.
"Since I've come, I've tried to make sure I spend some time in the center each day, talk with the dispatchers," Stua said. "I want to have my finger on the pulse here so I want which way we need to go to provide the best possible service for the residents."