News

Palo Alto, Mountain View and Los Altos launch joint dispatch system

New technology allows police to communicate across city lines

After two years of planning, Palo Alto, Mountain View and Los Altos police departments last week officially rolled out a joint dispatch system, a virtual consolidation that allows all three cities to immediately share information, dispatch calls and communicate with first responders across city boundaries.

A Los Altos Police Department press release calls the upgrade "the most significant public safety information technology project that the three cities have undertaken in the past decade."

The project was first proposed in 2011, then approved by all three cities in 2012.

The $3-million cost is being split "proportionately" among the cities.

Previously, each city's police department used an independent computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. The new, consolidated Integraph system "increases efficiency, reduces response times, and improves the use of resources during mutual aid incidents or emergencies that cross jurisdictional boundaries," the press release reads.

Police said the system is "functioning as expected" and Integraph staff are staying on site during the initial rollout period to help with any issues that might arise.

The new system will allow the three communications centers to function in a coordinated manner. The Palo Alto Communications Center is the 9-1-1 public-safety answering point for both the City of Palo Alto and Stanford University. and dispatches for the Palo Alto Police and Fire departments, the Stanford University Department of Public Safety, Palo Alto Utilities, Palo Alto Public Works, Palo Alto Animal Services and park rangers with Palo Alto Open Space.

The Mountain View Emergency Communications Center takes 9-1-1 calls from for the City of Mountain View and provides dispatching services for the Mountain View Police and Fire departments and Mid-Peninsula Open Space District. It also provides after-hour communications for the city's Public Works Department.

The Los Altos Communications Center is the dispatch system for the City of Los Altos. It also provides after-hour communications for the city's Public Works Department.

Questions about the new system can be directed to Elizabeth Vargas, Los Altos Police services manager, at 650-947-2770.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Here is an idea
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Why not consolidate all 3 departments into one?

This would greatly reduce the duplicated administrative costs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by UC Davis Grad
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 25, 2014 at 4:49 pm

You would think that, right? However...it's one thing for these agencies to streamline procedures among themselves. It's something else altogether for them to give up what they consider to be their own entities that they have control over.

Something to do with power bases and things like that...


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

To Cambodia With Love
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 3,406 views

Life in fast forward
By Jessica T | 3 comments | 1,653 views

Medical
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,603 views

The Relation of Palo Alto School Finance and Development--Background Concepts and Data Sources
By Steve Levy | 1 comment | 1,062 views

Who do I admire? My students.
By Ms. Jenson | 1 comment | 139 views