Mountain View Voice

News - March 28, 2014

New technology links local police

Mountain View, Palo Alto and Los Altos share upgraded communications package

by Kevin Forestieri

The Mountain View, Palo Alto and Los Altos police departments rolled out a new dispatch system March 18, after a two-year joint effort to improve communication between the three neighboring police departments. The tech upgrade is expected to reduce police response times and increase efficiency across the three cities.

The new computer-aided dispatch system, developed by Intergraph Corp., is designed to standardize telephone and radio communication between the police departments. With it, the departments can do a better job of coordinating vehicles and other resources in emergencies that cross jurisdictions.

Previously, each departments had its own stand-alone dispatch system that did not connect with other cities. The upgrade is the biggest information technology improvement project for public safety in the last decade, according to a press release from the Mountain View Police Department.

For years Mountain View interacted with neighboring departments by radio, according to Jaeger. Now, the more sophisticated communication technology will allow for visual, live updates. "Anyone with access to the system can monitor activity in real time and can now see and track, via a GPS-enabled mapping module, where each asset is for each city," Jaeger said.

The $3 million cost of the new system was split proportionately between the three cities, with Mountain View and Palo Alto paying more than Los Altos. The cost includes the first year of maintenance for the system.

The transition to the new dispatch system was successful beyond expectations, according to Mountain View officials. Intergraph staff worked closely with the departments to develop the new technology, and was on-site when the new dispatch system went live. "We were confident that any problems would be minor at best," Jaeger said. "So far the system has exceeded our expectations and there haven't been any problems."

E-mail Kevin Forestieri at kforestieri@mv-voice.com

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