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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dispatch upgrade needed
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
By DAVID REID
[email protected]

HOLYOKE - The city's police headquarters, which opened in 1997, is badly in need of a major upgrade of its central dispatch and communications center, a consultant has reported.

The consultant, Carl A. Signet, a city resident, was paid $16,000 from a community policing grant to assess the department's communications systems.

Police Chief Anthony R. Scott said last week he has hired Signet for another $11,000 to oversee updating and modernizing the department's computerized communications systems.

As summarized by Scott in a September letter to Mayor Michael J. Sullivan, the upgrade will focus on the following actions:

Reconfiguring the phone system so that incoming non-emergency calls bypass the E-911 dispatch center. Allow direct calls to all departments, redesign voice-mail system and integrate phone system with city's main PBX system.

Converting existing analog system for recording incoming emergency phone calls to digital format, which would allow for instant retrieval of victim information, accident locations and evidence.

Replacing existing radio system desktop control board and outdated desks with replacement parts impossible to order. New control boards, computer monitors and radio phones must be modernized.

Establishing a redundancy network or emergency backup for information recovery is there is a power outage or "brown-out."

Switching police department over to available "322"-prefix exchange similar to other city departments. That would allow integrated 4-digit and speed dialing functions.

Installing new headphones and foot-switch to allow dispatchers to quickly interface with outside agencies, internal phone calls, E-911 calls, patrol officers in their squad cars or on cell phones.

"We're totally redesigning the way the way the phone and communications systems work," Scott said last week.

How much the system upgrade would cost, Scott said, remains undetermined, although he estimated it would cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Signet has recommended piggy-backing purchases on statewide contracts that could save money.

Mayor Sullivan said yesterday he supports the communications upgrade, although he has some thoughts about aspects of the new communications system.

For instance, he said, instead of using walkie-talkie-type phones, individual police officers could use Nextel-type cell phones that criminals could not monitor as they currently do with the dispatch system through scanners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
$27,000.00???

It has to be much more then that. The radio upgrades for 2-3 Dispatch Stations will cost over that alone.

For my center to get a new CAD, E911 systems (hardware in dispatch not the other stuff that is involved) and a new radio console will cost about $400,000.00 and that is for 2 Dispatch stations. I can see it costing well over $1 Million.

What Chief Scott needs to look into are grants. There are grants from APCO and Homeland Security that will pay for a lot of these up grades. The key words being "Interoperability" and "E911 upgrades for phase 2 & 3".
 

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MCOA41 @ Nov 09 2004 01:54 pm said:
For instance, he said, instead of using walkie-talkie-type phones, individual police officers could use Nextel-type cell phones that criminals could not monitor as they currently do with the dispatch system through scanners.
Except the part about Nextel being an 800/900mHz trunked radio with a phone built in, which can still be monitored, you just have to have the knowledge how to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Holyoke would be best off with getting radios that can allow interoperability with HFD and Holyoke EMS. I do not know what Freq either use but it would make sense.

We will have a Motorola Centracomm Gold Elite touch screne radio console wich allows for individual set up and interoperability.

I am hoping HPD will spend some money and get 3 Dispatch COnsole desks instead of what they have now. The desks allow for more space per Dispatcher and helps to keep the background noise down.
 
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