Utah police officers to converse in real time

SALT LAKE CITY – June 21, 2007 – Spillman Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of public safety software solutions headquartered in Salt Lake City, is the first nationwide vendor to offer law enforcement officers the means to communicate using Jabber instant messaging (IM) technology.

Spillman's new Mobile 4.2 product supports the Jabber protocol, which allows agencies to converse in real time despite different software vendors. The extensible technology is an open, secure and advertisement-free alternative to consumer IM services.

Mike Sadler, information technology analyst with the Utah Department of Public Safety, which hosts the Jabber server for state agencies, says it's a step in the right direction.

The concept is really good in that it allows communication between disparate [software] systems,” said Sadler. Police officers use instant messaging all the time. It's a critical part of their communication packages.”

Using instant messaging to communicate in real time during a critical incident provides even greater value when it comes to saving lives.

For example, Sadler said that local agencies from Salt Lake City and West Valley used radio systems with similar protocols to communicate during the Trolley Square shootings in February.

Having agencies use a Jabber server would provide the same capabilities,” said Sadler. It's another means to allow agencies to communicate with each other.”

Instant messaging not only enhances the ability for officers to communicate, but it also reduces radio chatter between officers and dispatchers and gives agencies an alternative for dispatching.

This technology allows agencies to truly communicate,” said Ben Godfrey, research and design manager at Spillman. If there's a cross-jurisdictional incident, this allows law enforcement to work the case in real time, collaborate, and pool their resources.”

Although many Utah agencies have disparate systems, Sadler said any software vendor can offer this instant messaging feature by becoming Jabber compliant.

To my knowledge, Spillman is the only one who has really taken advantage of that,” said Sadler. But I believe we will start to see more of that.”

If other vendors programmed software to support the Jabber application, Sadler said it would allow Spillman agencies to instant message agencies using other software systems.

With 94 agencies in Utah using Spillman software, company officials hope more software vendors will adopt the new technology to enable communication among disparate agencies statewide.

We are pleased to be able to offer public safety agencies another tool to enhance data sharing,” said Godfrey. We encourage other vendors to implement Jabber protocols to further expand communication and reduce barriers among Utah agencies.”

Spillman Technologies provides a full range of software solutions for public safety agencies, including Computer-Aided Dispatch, Records Management, Mobile Communications, Corrections Management, Fire/EMS Management, Resource Management, and Data Sharing. The software is installed at nearly 700 agencies nationwide.

QUICK FACTS BOX

There are 121 police departments and sheriff's offices in Utah
62 percent of Utah police departments and sheriff's offices use Spillman software
In total, 94 agencies in Utah use Spillman software (Includes dispatch, fire, airport, campus, and security agencies)
Spillman was founded in Logan, Utah, and released its first public safety software package in 1983