City suing over SAPD records, dispatch system
The City of San Angelo filed suit against Spillman Technologies in a Tom Green County state district court Wednesday, seeking the recovery of more than $3.5 million. The City argues Spillman fraudulently misrepresented the functionality of its records management and computer-aided dispatch software and its qualifications to implement the system. It did so in an effort to induce the City to buy its product for the San Angelo Police and Fire Departments at a cost of $1.5 million to taxpayers.
Spillman’s representations that it could deliver a state-of-the-art software system for the City’s first responders were, in fact, misrepresentations. In its lawsuit, the City identifies 12 such misrepresentations Spillman made in its proposal to the City. Spillman’s software lacks much of the core functionality that was promised and does not perform reliably. The company assured it would provide software solutions that do not exist. Further, it lacked the ability to correct defects in the system once it was implemented. Those defects have increased response times, created officer safety issues and jeopardized the lives of our citizens and our first-responders.
In one instance, the system’s failure put the lives of San Angelo firefighters in danger. Firefighters responded to a call of a house fire on Jan. 13, unaware the SAPD had received a call of a man brandishing a rifle in the front yard of the same address, inviting a shootout with police. Firefighters were forced to scramble for cover when they arrived on the scene.
Such outcomes are simply unacceptable. Protecting the public is the City’s most fundamental responsibility and our highest priority.
The City does not make the decision to file suit lightly. From the time Spillman’s system went live in June 2016 through the early part of this year, SAPD personnel and the City’s Information Technology manager worked tirelessly to try to make the Spillman system work and to convince the company to live up to its contractual obligations. Despite our efforts, Spillman continually failed to deliver on its promises or, in many cases, to even acknowledge problems that clearly exist. The nine months the City has used Spillman software has been fraught with false promises, unresolved complaints, empty assurances and fruitless negotiations, all related to a defective product that has resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in money and in man-hours.
With no working solution on the horizon, the City was left no choice but to seek redress in court. The City alleges four causes of action against Spillman, all of which are related to fraud and breach. Through this lawsuit, the City will vigorously pursue a recovery of the $1.5 million in costs it incurred under the contract, as well as the $2.375 million cost our taxpayers must now pay to purchase a replacement software system. The City is also seeking punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and court costs.
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The Public Information Office operates and maintains SATV (Suddenlink cable channel 17 & 117), the City's website and its social media sites; assists the media with City-related reports; and writes and distributes press releases.
Public Information is also responsible for the photography and videography for the City, which includes recording board meetings, events, municipal commercials, special videos and more. Additionally, Public Information answers inquiries from the public daily.
Call the Public Information Office at 325-481-2727 if you have questions about San Angelo's municipal government.
In September 2016, the Public Information Office won six more statewide awards for video storytelling at the annual conference of the Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors:
The Kurt Ugland Programming Impact Award for a video tribute to SAPD Sgt. Korby Kennedy, who was killed in the line of duty last year. The award honors the video that “most influenced people’s perceptions by touching their hearts and minds.” The video won the prize over an entry from the City of Austin.
“Remembering the Fallen: Sgt. Korby Kennedy” also won second place in the Documentary category.
Second place in the Public Education category for “Did Your BUTT Start this Fire?”
Second place in the Event/Program Promotion category for “#ThisPlaceMatters.”
A second-place award in Partnership Production for content produced for the Standard-Times’ 20 Under 40 recognition program of local young leaders.
In June 2016, the City of San Angelo's Public Information Office won three awards at the annual conference of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO):
- 1st-Place, PSA (Educational) - Did Your Butt Start This Fire?
- 2nd-Place (Award of Excellence), Special or One-Time Program - Remembering the Fallen: Sgt. Korby Kennedy.
- 2nd-Place (Award of Excellence), PSA (Marketing) - Answering the Call
In February 2016, the City won top honors at the local American Advertising Awards (ADDY's)
- Best of Show: #ThisPlaceMatters: San Angelo, Texas
- Gold ADDY: #ThisPlaceMatters: San Angelo, Texas
- Gold ADDY: Answering the Call