Supervisors Approve New 911 System

By Heather Michon | Fluvanna Review

The Fluvanna Board of Supervisors has approved the purchase of a new computer-assisted dispatch (CAD) system to replace the county’s aging 911 service.

The current system, DaPro, is now about 14 years old and is reaching the end of its useful life, said Michael Grandstaff, director of communications at the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office.

It still gets the job done, but DaPro no longer provides software updates and was bought out by another company in 2015. Even if it was still supported, “old software just doesn’t work with new stuff,” he explained.

With Fluvanna County emergency services about to shift to a new radio system, the moment was right for a upgrade.

The county put out a request for proposals in November 2016. After several months of interviews and negotiations, they decided on Spillman Technologies of Salt Lake City. A subsidiary of Motorola, Spillman provides public safety software for more than 1,800 customers across 44 states.

The $459,981 system will be funded out of the county’s Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) budget and includes new equipment, software, support, and 40 hours of training for each of the staff of 15 dispatchers. After the first year, the annual operating budget for the system will be about $45,000 a year.

Grandstaff said the new system will remove one of DaPro’s more time-consuming aspects: dispatchers currently must manually look up and assign the appropriate police or fire unit when they receive an emergency call. The Spillman system will do that automatically and “that will save us a lot in processing time.”

The department received a total of 6,127 emergency 911 calls in the fiscal year that ended in July 2017. With the volume of calls increasing each year, the need for “reliable, faster dispatch” will only grow, he notes.

Other upgrades include mobile capability and integration with other statewide public safety centers. The robust data storage system will allow officials to streamline information-gathering and automatically run reports, which should in turn help departments optimize their daily operations.

If all goes according to schedule, the dispatch center should be up and running in July of 2018.

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