Tyler to Replace 30-Year-Old Dispatch System in Kentucky

Tyler Technologies was awarded the bid earlier this month, and Owensboro and Daviess counties, Ky., are working with the company on a contract right now. The current system has been in place since the 1980s.

by James Mayse Messenger-Inquirer / March 1, 2019

(TNS) — Next Year's budget for the Kentucky counties of Owensboro and Daviess' 911 dispatch center will be about $1 million less than it was during the 2018-19 fiscal year.

That sounds like a huge decrease, but it's happening because city and county officials added $755,000 to the 911 budget last year to purchase and install a new computer-aided dispatch system.

With a vendor selected and planning underway to install the new system, the dispatch center won't have that expense on its budget when the new fiscal year begins in July.

"Almost the entire reduction in the budget is related to the CAD project," said Paul Nave, 911 director of Owensboro-Daviess County Dispatch.

Earlier this month, officials sent an award letter to Tyler Technologies, selecting them to provide the new CAD system, and officials are currently negotiating a contract with the company. Although the money for the new system is in the current budget, installing the system and transferring data into it will likely take more than a year, Nave said.

The computer-aided dispatch system sends information to patrol cars about incidents, such as the caller's name, the location and the call type. The CAD system is also used to generate reports about calls for service.

The county has been using the current CAD system since the late 1980s, and the city began using the system in 2003.

Nave said the vendor who built the current system is no longer providing technical support.

While the system is still functioning, there is no way to repair the system if it breaks down, he said.

The new CAD system will provide enhanced information to law enforcement and responders, such as photos and building plans.

"We are going to overload them with data," Nave said.

The system will have plans for apartment complexes, businesses and factories. When officers are sent to a home for a call, the system will automatically provide them with a history of all the previous calls made to that home, something which now can only be done manually by a dispatcher, Nave said.

"When we are swamped and extremely busy, there's a delay getting that information to the officer," Nave said. "With the new system, there would not be that (manual) process, it would be automatic."

The new system will also be compatible with "Next Generation 911" changes that are coming in the future.

Nave said the state is developing a system, for example, that will eventually allow dispatchers to locate the cellphone being used to make a 911 call, instead of only a location based on the nearest cellular tower, Nave said.

In Owensboro, that eventual upgrade will eliminate times when 911 cellular calls from near the river bounce to the Spencer County tower, which routes the call to Spencer County's 911 dispatch.

"That (will be) less transfers and less delays" dispatching responders to a scene, Nave said.

Data will have to be transferred and from the old system to the new, which will take several months, Nave said.

"I'm estimating 12 to 18 months to go live, roughly" with the new system, Nave said.

In this 911 budget for 2019-20, and future budgets over the next 15 years, $30,000 will be placed annually into a fund for future CAD system upgrades, or to replace the system in the future. The fund was created at the request of Daviess Judge-Executive Al Mattingly, Nave said.

"So when the CAD needs to be upgraded or needs to be replaced, the money is in the bank, and you don't have to ask each government to come up with the amount," Nave said.

©2019 the Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Ky.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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