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Douglas County dispatchers to receive software upgrade

By Kayleigh Rahn
The Douglas County Board, during its meeting Wednesday, Jan. 16, approved a $274,917 purchase through the sheriff’s office to upgrade the dispatching software.

The software licensing and service system from Zuercher Technologies, which will be financed through Arcola First Bank, will update the public safety software suite used by Douglas County E911 dispatchers. The sheriff’s office will pitch in $164,743 for the purchase while Douglas County E911 will cover $110,174.

“It’s our dispatching software as well as the software we’ll use to do our reports,” Sheriff Josh Blackwell said. “It will allow us to become more efficient. Right now when someone gets brought into the Sheriff’s office. It could take an officer up to 45 minutes to book them. By upgrading the software it allows us to pre-book, which would move that time down to 15 minutes.”

The upgrade will also allow E911 to dispatch more efficiently, Blackwell said. Currently when a resident calls in for assistance, the dispatcher manually logs the caller’s name, contact information, and location into the CAD system. With the upgrade, that data will be digitally imported to the system.

“We’ll also, the dispatcher will be able to see the location of officers in real time,” Blackwell said. “So the dispatcher will be able to log the chief complaint and see which officer is closest.”

The officer is then able to read, in real time, what is going on.

“Now we are having to rely on the dispatcher to gather the information, log the information, and relay the information via radio. Now the dispatcher’s notes will be available to the officer as they are enroute to the call.

“It will have him or her more prepared as they arrive to a call,” he said. “It also has prior contact information available to the officer, along with any booking photo on file to help the officer ID the individual. It will bring us into the 21st century as far as our dispatching, report writing, and investigations.”

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 23 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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