Upgrade for computer-aided dispatch one step closer in Lewis County
By CHRISTINA SCANLON
LOWVILLE — Lewis County legislators are moving forward with a contract for a new computer-aided dispatch system after the winning bidder, Spillman Technologies Inc., agreed to a clause that would void the contract if expected state funding to pay for the project is not provided.
With a total cost of $894,959 for equipment, an upgrade to the 911 phone system and an annual maintenance agreement, the grant of $808,615 will not cover the full amount.
The difference will be spread out in future budgets.
Legislative Chairman Michael A. Tabolt, R-Croghan, said the board had received word in May that the county was awarded the grant for the project.
“But without that money in hand, we weren’t comfortable committing to the project,” he said.
That changed when Spillman announced it would not hold the county responsible in the event the grant funds do not materialize.
“They said they are taking all the risk,” Mr. Tabolt said of Spillman’s suggestion to get started immediately.
Representatives from Spillman told legislators it is not uncommon to enter such agreements and they have never had an occasion where the funds did not come through.
The system, which is custom made for the county’s needs, will house equipment for dispatchers in their current space at the Lewis County jail.
When calls come in to the center, patrols can be dispatched via the radio, or more discreetly, electronically to a patrol car.
“Each incident is automatically assigned a number,” Undersheriff James M. Monnat said.
Because the system has an automatic vehicle locator, the closest patrol can be assigned quickly.
Cheryl A. LaLonde, dispatch supervisor, said it will save time not only in sending an officer to a call, but also throughout shift work from the current method of doing routine radio checks to find the location of each deputy.
“Now, we’ll be able to see it on a map,” she said. It also will show the locations of village of Lowville and state police patrols.
Deputies also will save time as the new system is also a records-management system, allowing all work, except mug shots and fingerprinting, to be taken care of from the vehicle.
Now, deputies must return to the station and re-enter and download all information the incident gathered into a second system.
“It’s going to make our whole process a lot more efficient,” Ms. LaLonde said.
The current system was installed in 2002, when the county 911 project was implemented.
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