Local police train with 911 center

All Newton County public safety officers — including sheriff's  deputies, police officers, firefighters and emergency medical service workers — received a boost into the 21st century this week, with the help of taxes and recovered drug funds.

Monies collected from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Public Safety Interoperability Project and funds claimed in county drug busts paid for high-tech, rugged laptops and mobile data computing software from Spillman Technologies, Inc.

GIS/CAD System Administrator Teresa Cleary and Operations Manager Trudy Henry of Covington-Newton County 911 explained the features of the new Itronix GoBook XR-1 and the system which will take much pressure off emergency dispatchers, free up radio air time for drastic emergencies and help officers maintain a street presence.

Basically, everything we are able to check here at the 911 center will be at their fingertips,” Henry said.

The new software boasts a variety of locator features, such as a map of the county split into zones which allows all units to see other units and from where calls are coming. Officers can also type in an address and have it pinpointed on their maps.

There's no more saying 'I'm not close enough to take that call,'” Spillman Product Instructor Nikki Huff said. Accountability is going to be a huge thing with this.”

Huff explained if an officer finds himself injured, all other officers on duty could look on their maps and find the exact location of the unit in danger.