Emergency communication just got better in Nacogdoches city and county

By Donna McCollum

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – Ted Bundy was a notorious serial killer. No doubt improved communication between law enforcement agencies may have led to his apprehension before he murdered so many people. A point made by a software company that caters to law enforcement agencies. The pitch is still remembered by those who launched the program today in Nacogdoches.

In excited anticipation, the day was given a name. It's 'Go Live Spillman Day', referring to the long awaited criminal investigation software program. County and city personnel have been training on it for weeks. “We'll be up in just a few minutes,” alerted Tara Triana, in charge of Special Services at the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Department.

One observer described dispatch like “Grand Central Station”. It is where all the activity centers. When Spillman is patched in it's the start of streamlined communication. “We see information that the county has and what they're working. And they're able to see what we're working,” explained Sgt. Greg Sowell, Nacogdoches Police Department spokesperson. Nacogdoches city and county are sharing in the purchase of the $800,000 software program.

The program puts information on a flow chart from dispatch to the courtroom. When dispatch receives a call, data is entered. Simultaneously, reassuring information data comes over the laptop in the officer or deputy's patrol car. “GPS is attached to it so other officers know exactly where I am at all times,” said Sheriff's Deputy Darick Stinson. “We can run criminal history on it, where we used to have to get on the radio to talk to dispatch. Now we can initiate everything ourselves.”

There are some drawbacks in the county due to the hilly and forested terrain. “These mobile computer systems only operate through the use of air cards,” shared Sheriff Thomas Kerss. “But once the deputy is within signal range he receives the recorded information instantly.”

On the administrative side, the software will provide a wealth of information that hasn't been readily available. Information is knowledge that can possibly help with the program's to the regional level. Lufkin is currently looking into new software programs. Spillman has already contacted officials there. There is also a desire to introduce the program to other adjoining counties within the Deep East Texas Council of Governments. Stimulus money could possibly be directed in that area. “You have a lot of crimes that people go to one county from the other. If you've already started identifying their profile then you can start utilizing that information when you start looking for them,” said County Judge Joe English. And that helps with protecting citizens.

Read the original story here.