New software system links responders
ASPEN Area police, fire and medical responders are getting a computer upgrade that officials say will improve efficiency and save lives.At a cost of $640,000 for the software alone, responders will log calls and track cases using the New World software system beginning this summer. The new system means more than just additional training and calls to help desks, but important streamlining of communications between departments and improved public safety, according to Aspen’s assistant police chief, Richard Pryor.”It’s a fully integrated system. … And integration is the key,” Pryor said. “A goal down the line is having a way to share data with all [law enforcement] entities.”Today when dispatch receives a 911 call, it translates only a scant amount of data to the computer-aided dispatch system. And with only the basic information, authorities following up on the call often have to dig up the same data, a wasteful redundancy that costs precious time during emergencies, Pryor said.But the New World software will supply more data to officers, information that area police, fire and ambulance officials can share at the touch of a button, Pryor said.The new system will integrate law records and jail registers with police work, ambulance and fire, which means a police officer knocking on someone’s door will know about all prior incidents at the address and be able to respond appropriately, Pryor said.Heads of area agencies met in 2003 to discuss the needs of area communities, hired a consultant and put out a request for bids from software agencies, and New World won because of its overall integration and ease of use, Pryor said.”We found a unified system that would cut down on redundancy of data entry and make pertinent information available to officers,” Pryor said.Area agencies will share the cost of the new system depending on their percentage of use, Pryor said, adding that in the long run the system overhaul will save more than $250,000 in needed upgrades to the current, less effective system.Area dispatchers will go online with the New World system in the end of July, and police will upgrade by mid-September, Pryor said.Both Garfield and Summit counties plan to adopt the New World software system in the future, which will make for easier cooperation among agencies, Pryor said.Charles Agar’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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