Jefferson Police to Start Aided Dispatch

By Chelsea DeMello

RANSON – Beginning this fall, Jefferson County police and emergency officials will be up to speed in the digital realm of information sharing with the implementation of the new Computer-Aided Dispatch system.

CAD, as it is known, will be a way of computerizing law enforcement and emergency records, and provide personnel with access to mobile data to streamline dispatch location and events, according to Jeff Polczynski, director of Jefferson County emergency communications.

Polczynski said it is a tool to create efficiency and develop a better work flow between the different law enforcement and emergency agencies within the county.

“It will be a way to bring everyone on the same page,” Polczynski said.

For instance, instead of having to repeat vehicle or driver details over the radio, the information is stored and updated within the system, Charles Town police chief Chris Kutcher said.

However, instead of eliminating radio dispatch, the system is intended to be a supplemental record-sharing database.

Another component of the system is the capability to pinpoint problem areas.

According to Kutch, the current method of tracking trends is by the use of spreadsheets.

“Right now we are very manual in the way we gather information,” Kutcher said.

 CAD records activity and trends to create “heat maps” so the appropriate personnel can be placed into those areas, Kutcher said.

The CAD system was purchased from Spillman Technologies, a public safety software company based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In addition, the cost for the CAD system is estimated at more than $1 million, with funding provided through a combination of grant and allocation money.

According to Pete Dougherty, Jefferson County sheriff, the state funded a grant of $230,000 to purchase 85 tablets, which is a component of the mobile data feature of the system.

The state issued the grant after the sheriff’s department sent a proposal stating the money would be used to “tie all of the Jefferson County information systems together,” Dougherty said.

According to Polczynski, the Jefferson County Commission allocated $800,000 in capital improvement funds to provide the software and hardware for the communication center and sheriff’s office.

In order to purchase the equipment, each agency within the county setup contracts totaling $114,200 with Spillman Technologies, Polczynski said.

While the system is not projected to go live until this fall, training has already begun.

More than 73 officers from each municipality, including the sheriff’s department, will be using the system.

Polczynski estimated that personnel undergo between 12 to 24 hours of training, which includes computer and mobile devices along with practical application.

More information about the CAD system is set to be available closer to its implementation date this fall.

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