Conn. town awaits bids for new dispatch software

By Luther Turmelle
Tee New Haven Register

CHESHIRE, Conn. — Police and fire officials are awaiting bids for a new computer-aided dispatch and records management system to replace the outdated software now in use.

Bids are due Friday. Town Manager Michael Milone said the Town Council appropriated $270,000 for the software in the 2008-09 capital budget, which was approved in September 2008.

Police spokesman Lt. Jay Markella said officials are looking for software that combines dispatch functions with report generation and record-keeping capability. The department's current system "is three separate units that don't work well together," Markella said.

"The system we have right now is not very user-friendly," Markella said. "With the computer-aided dispatch, there's a lot of key strokes our dispatchers have to do in order to enter a simple call."

Since all fire calls in Cheshire are dispatched through the Police Department, Deputy Fire Chief Donn Youngquist has also been involved in the process to find a new software provider.

"We're especially interested in improving the dispatch portion because that is what gives us the information we need, like where we're going and how many hydrants are nearby," Youngquist said.

Police and fire officials have spent months researching software options that might be available.

"We've been looking at the software that other departments around us use," Markella said. "We want to go with a reputable company, somebody that is already established in Connecticut."

Markella said officials with both departments hope to have the new software in place sometime next year. "The sooner the better, because we have glitches everyday with our current system," he said. "We're just holding our breath that the current system holds together until we get a new one in place."

Copyright 2009 New Haven

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