Software helps NJ agency weather Superstorm Sandy

Feb. 19, 2013 – Freehold, N.J. —The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office utilized Spillman’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and mapping software to efficiently respond to a record-breaking number of emergency calls during Superstorm Sandy.

On the night of Oct. 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy moved up the Eastern Seaboard, devastating coastal areas with record-shattering wind speeds and storm surges. New Jersey’s densely populated Monmouth County was one of the hardest hit areas, suffering the most damage of any community affected by the storm. Approximately 72,000 residents evacuated the low-lying coastline as a 13.5-foot storm surge inundated the area with water, sand, and debris.

During the storm, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office received more than 7,700 calls for service, including over 1,200 reports of downed wires and power poles, 2,300 calls for emergency medical services, 250 calls for rescue, 2,000 fire requests, and 6,000 police requests.

Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said the Spillman system, implemented just six weeks before the storm hit, aided personnel in responding to the crisis and functioned seamlessly despite the unprecedented system demand. The software project brought the communications department and more than 20 other municipalities onto one multi-jurisdictional system.

“Spillman built a system that was reliable, particularly during the heaviest calls,” said Golden. ”We thought it was going to explode, and it didn’t.”

One of the biggest problems the agency faced was the 94 calls for water rescues, which are dangerous and require specially trained dive team members. Golden said some of the most important tools the sheriff’s office used were Spillman’s CAD Mapping and Mobile AVL Mapping modules, which allowed Monmouth personnel to see in real time where water rescues were needed as well as the location and status of every responding unit in the field. This allowed the office to visually determine where water rescue calls were clustered so that the safest and most efficient rescues could be planned.

“Spillman allowed us to really get a good picture through the CAD map and the AVL, which we didn’t have previously.” Golden said. “It helped management get a feel for all the calls coming in.”

Golden said that during the storm, the agency experienced no downtime from the Spillman system, which had been built with a redundant server for backup in times of crisis. Golden added that even though the system was working, Spillman representatives called throughout the night to ensure that the software remained functional during the natural disaster.

“Spillman systems support team went above and beyond during the worst catastrophic event to hit our county, calling our sheriff’s office IT staff a number of times to just check in to see if there was anything they could do, even though all systems were working,” Golden said.

Months later, as Monmouth County faced clean up and rebuilding efforts after the storm, Golden reflected on the implementation of the Spillman software and the company behind it.

“In our biggest time of crisis Spillman Technologies was there for us, not only with a reliable and redundant public safety software system but with personal and professional customer service,” he said.

Spillman Technologies is a public safety software provider headquartered in Salt Lake City, serving more than 1,000 police departments, sheriff’s offices, communication centers, fire departments, and correctional facilities nationwide. Spillman specializes in integrated software solutions, including Computer Aided Dispatch, Records Management Systems, Mobile Data & Field Reporting, Mapping & GIS, CompStat & Intelligence-Led Policing, Jail Management Systems, Fire, Data Sharing, and Personnel & Resources.