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City statement on SAPD records, dispatch system

Post Date:03/21/2017 8:34 AM

The City of San Angelo is investing more than $2 million dollars to ensure that when citizens call for help, a police officer, firefighter or paramedic will be there as quickly as possible.

Acting upon the recommendation of Police Chief Frank Carter, the City Council today approved replacing the dispatch and records software package that went online last year. The replacement system will be installed by Hexagon, the company that previously provided the software. The $2.23 million cost will be financed.

The dispatch and records system consists of three main components. The records management system organizes the flow of information produced by the San Angelo Police Department. The computer-aided dispatch assists in fielding and prioritizing calls for help, then dispatches the nearest first-responder. Mobile units in police cars let officers query and cross-reference information in the field.

The system being replaced went live last June. Within a week, SAPD dispatchers and officers were experiencing significant problems. Those issues have lengthened call times, produced unreliable data and forced an intricate system of work-arounds that have doubled and tripled workloads.

Despite the SAPD’s best efforts at cooperation, the new vendor has been unable to quickly and fully resolve the concerns. In short, what the SAPD believed it was buying was not what it got. The police and fire departments, the City manager, the City attorney, and the City Council unanimously agreed that replacing the dispatch and records system is a public safety necessity. The full transition to the newer system should be fully operational in early 2018.

Meanwhile, the City is considering steps to seek reimbursement of the $1.5 million dollars allocated for the replaced system.

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