Police officers in the field rely on radio operators to dispatch them to emergency calls and to provide backup and supervision in the event of an emergency being called. In today’s world, most systems which emergency stations have allows for citizens to call a single emergency phone number, 911, for them to be immediately dispatched to their scene.
Recently, the Craig County Sheriff’s Office applied for and received a grant of $150,000 to purchase and install a new Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD) System for the dispatch center in the Sheriff’s Office.
“The new system will allow us to dispatch law enforcement and Fire and Rescue (Medical Responder’s) as we always have,” Sheriff Trevor Craddock said.
When a dispatch operator answers a call, they automatically see the address of the caller to which dispatch units can be sent immediately, even in the case where citizens are unable to speak, or clearly report the problem.
The CAD System does many things:
· Is to be a method of dispatching emergency services assisted by computer and can either be used to send messages via a mobile data terminal or used to store and retrieve data (i.e., radio logs, field interviews, client information, schedules, etc.)
Central idea is that people in a dispatch center are able to easily view and understand the status of all units being dispatched.
· Provides displays and tools so that the dispatcher has an opportunity to handle calls-for-service as efficiently as possible.
Craddock added, “This new CAD System reduces the amount of paperwork involved and allows us to track calls for service and data more efficiently than in the past.”
It was explained that everything that is gathered, dispatched and disposed of, is usually stored in a central server in which the type codes reside. All of these calls have incident numbers attached to them so that can be recalled by an internal search engine.
For example, a request for a printout of all calls to a specific designation in a previous hour could be immediately gathered by querying the CAD program by location.
“In the past, we tracked everything in handwritten logs, which had to be manually searched by someone,” Sheriff Craddock noted. “The new CAD System allows us the capability to search the databases and retrieve information very fast, as it is all computerized.”
The old system has been in use for many years. “As with all things new, it takes time to adjust and for people to adjust,” Sheriff Craddock said.
The Sheriff’s Office personnel were trained on the new CAD System, and it went operational on June 5.
“The staff at the Sheriff’s Office are professional, and I am confident that we will adapt to the new system,” Sheriff Craddock added. “It will definitely assist law enforcement and Fire and Rescue to make our citizens and the County a safer place to live.”