County to buy police software

By Steve Herring
The Goldsboro News-Argus

Wayne County and the city of Goldsboro have reached separate agreements with a software company for a public safety software system to streamline recordkeeping, data flow and accessibility.

But while they are separate projects, the software being purchased by Goldsboro will integrate seamlessly with the county’s software/hardware package allowing the sharing of information between both systems.

Police departments in the county’s smaller municipalities including Mount Olive, Fremont and Pikeville will be included in the county’s system.

There will be no cost at first, but commissioners did not rule out the possibility of adding a fee at some point for the smaller towns to be part of the county system.

Currently the software that will be purchased through Spillman Technologies is used by 1,700 law enforcement agencies across the county including in Randolph and Beaufort counties in North Carolina.

Commissioner Joe Daughtery questioned why commissioners had not been brought into the discussions earlier.

“For the past year the Office of Emergency Services along with the Sheriff’s Office have been looking at demonstrations from various vendors for not only for our computer-aided dispatch, but also for Sheriff’s Office record management and jail management,” Offices of Emergency Services Director Mel Powers said.

The maintenance agreement on the existing system ended in March 2015, and that is when the county started looking for a replacement system, he said.

What sped up the process in the past few months was the realization that the system now in use by the Sheriff’s Office has an end-of-life of December 2017, Powers said.

That sounds far off, but it takes 12 to 16 months to implement a new system once a decision is made, he said.

Also, there are mandates coming from the state that software now in use in the 911 center will not be able to handle, Powers said.

Currently the jail, 911 and Sheriff’s Office are separate items that result in duplicated work, Power said.

“So everything in the CAD system for the county, we don’t see anything in records management or jail management and vice-versa,” he said. “Everything in the Sheriff’s Office, they do not see what we have in the 911 center.”

The new system would integrate all three systems from the beginning of a response within the 911 communications center through the initial contact with law enforcement and subsequent arrest and detention process, Powers said. It also would eliminate extensive office supplies such as paper and files space, he said.

“So in a nutshell what it would do once we get a 911 call the software would start at that point with CAD, and it would carry through,” he said. “When we dispatch somebody out, a deputy out, they would see everything that the dispatcher is seeing.

“They could go on scene and start their process. We could start that reporting process. It is a paperless process.”

If an arrest is made, the software would follow a person into the jail management system.

Along with eliminating redundancy, errors would be taken out as well, Powers said.

Sheriff Larry Pierce said the system would cut paperwork in his office by half.

Daughtery also said he was “appalled” at the $3 million price tag over a 10-year period.

It would be paid for through the use of 911 funds. Also, the county is currently paying $94,000 annually for maintenance of the existing system. Instead of paying that much for an old system, it would be put toward the cost of the new system, County Manager George Wood said.

Daughtery agreed the system should streamline the process, but that he had yet to hear where any savings would be generated.

Pierce said he could see it eliminating one position that now creates, discriminates and files reports.

Commissioner Wayne Aycock said the new system is a matter of safety for emergency and law enforcement personnel since it will provide a lot more information including items like outstanding warrants.

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