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Computer issues delay Indiana county’s 911 dispatches

August 6, 2018

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) — Computer issues are delaying 911 dispatches in in northern Indiana’s St. Joseph County.

Ray Schultz, the executive director of the county’s consolidated 911 center near Mishawaka, told The South Bend Tribune that at least 9,500 dispatches have been slowed so far this year. That accounts for about 8 percent of dispatches.

Center leaders said software company Tyler Technologies hasn’t done enough to fix issues with its $3 million New World CAD system.

The system took two years to set up and was launched in June 2017. The company is paid $311,000 annually as part of its five-year maintenance contract, which expires July 2020.

Tyler Technologies didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

The main issue is that the system doesn’t allow dispatchers to validate addresses in cases where the street name and number exist in multiple municipalities, Schultz said.

Addresses are typically validated so the system can automatically determine which responders should be dispatched. When the system can’t automatically validate an address, dispatchers often have to use other means to confirm the address, such as using Google Maps or performing an override, Schultz said.

“It can be a difference between life and death,” he said. “If it’s a shooting, stabbing or high-priority call, they do whatever is fastest.”

Schultz said he doesn’t have data on how long the delays were and if they affected the outcome of responses to emergencies.

The county Board of Commissioners began seeking proposals for new systems from other companies last month. The proposals are due later this month.

The county may also study its Geographic Information System data, which could be causing the address issues. The County Council on Aug. 14 will consider approving spending $10,000 for a yearlong study through GeoComm.


Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com

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