News : 911 Readies New Dispatch System
Maryville, TN, USA, Dec 29, 2015 -- All of Blount County’s law enforcement agencies and emergency responders will start training on the County Communications Center’s new computer-assisted dispatch system in January.
In July, the E-911 Board of Directors voted to purchase a new computer-aided dispatch system from Spillman Technologies Inc. By this point, Blount County, Maryville and Alcoa have all gotten on board with purchases of related technology.
It will be close to the end of the first quarter of 2016 when the system is ready to go. "It’s going pretty well," County 911 Director Jeff Caylor said. "We won’t actually go live until late March, early April. (Spillman) will get started here the week between Christmas and New Year’s. They will be installing the server here. It will be pre-loaded with all the software. We’re actually going to be starting training, including all agencies that are involved in the project, the week of Jan. 11."
The first step is getting the new server installed. "The training will commence immediately after the first of the year," Caylor said. "It’s going to be going off-and-on through March."
The County Commission in November approved an expenditure for the Sheriff’s Office to purchase a new records management system from Spillman. The BCSO had already been looking at replacing its existing records management system, which has been in use since 2002.
Last month’s purchase, however, did not include the necessary upgrades for computer systems in the Sheriff’s Office vehicles. There are plans to purchase those as part of the projects slated for funding out of the information technology capital fund approved by the County Commission on Dec. 15.
"The terminals will basically be mobile offices," County Finance Director Randy Vineyard said.
BCSO Deputy Chief Jarrod Millsaps said the cost for the terminals was estimated based on the retail price and there were other, cheaper options being explored such as leasing.
The cities of Alcoa and Maryville are already onboard with the change. Alcoa is purchasing the Spillman mobile interface and records management systems. Maryville has decided to purchase the mobile technology but will continue using its own records management system.
Lt. Hank Morris of the Alcoa Police Department said his agency is ready to participate in the training. "We’re right on schedule for that with hopefully the implementation of the computer-assisted dispatch at the end of March."
Millsaps said all the agencies were expected to go live with basic mobile capabilities from their vehicles by that target date. "When it goes live, it will go live for all of us."
Once the new system goes online, work will start on implementing the records management system at Alcoa. "The second phase of that is going to be the records management system," Morris said. "(We) and the county are the only agencies going with the whole system on that. We’ll start the training on that in April with a projected going live date some time in September. The server will be installed here next week. Between training and converting the data from our system now, it takes a while."
The records management system at the BCSO is expected to go live in September as well, Millsaps said.
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Deputy Chief Greg Cook of the Maryville Police Department said his agency is currently developing the policies for using the new system. Personnel will participate in the county-wide training in January and the mobile technology should be installed in MPD vehicles around then. "It should be installed as we progress through the training. It will be a pretty busy time."
With the new system, law enforcement will be able to fill out reports from the field, and dispatchers will be able to track the location of emergency vehicles.
"It puts us all on the same system for the first time," Caylor said. "I can’t overstate the importance of that. It’s invaluable. Once the Sheriff’s Office gets the jail management aspect of it (implemented), as soon as we put a name in a (dispatch) report for a call, if this person has ever been incarcerated here before, it’s going to give them everything they need to know about this person."
The ability to share information easily will benefit everyone, Caylor said. "It’s just going to be a lot faster. The information these people out in the field, (who) are actually putting their lives on the line, will have at their fingertips, it’s just going to be beneficial."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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