New system connects all county agencies
Franklin County has stepped into the 21st century with the purchase and installation of a new software system that connects all the law enforcement agencies to improve response times and support services.
Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Director Roy Gober said the Franklin County 911 Board was in charge of purchasing the new Global software, but it was a group effort among the law enforcement as well.
"We have been looking at buying software for several years to bring the system up to date, and to make the system more cost effective for each agency."
The new Global system was purchased by the board, but each agency pays a fee in order for it to be in use, which results in a savings for each department now and in the future.
"Each department is saving considerable under this new system," Gober said.
Besides being more cost effective, the system also helps law enforcement officials keep in touch and helps officers conduct their day-to-day operations.
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said the system has many benefits that include making paperwork easier for the officer and keeping them safe while on the road.
"Security is a big issue," Hargett said. "When our officers are dispatched to an address, they get all the information such as prior calls made to that address. The same goes for subjects. We type in the name, we see a total history in the car instead of having to call and seeing what other agencies have on that person."
Hargett said the system keeps all of the county's law enforcement on the same page, and there are fewer things that can slip through the cracks.
Red Bay Police Chief Pat Creel is also pleased with the system.
"It helps us keep in touch," Creel said. "That's a good thing."
Creel said there are kinks in any new project, but he feels the new software is already beneficial even though there are a few bugs here and there.
Sheriff Larry Plott likes the different capabilities of the software, and he is happy with his deputies knowing all of the facts about a subject or address.
"It's about officer security," Plott said. "This is going to make our deputies more aware of their calls, and make them aware of their history."
While the law enforcement community has a general consensus that the system is beneficial and more cost effective, there are steps being taken to upgrade the system even more.
"We just submitted paperwork to get a grant to upgrade the system, and add other features like GPS in each patrol car," Hargett said.
Hargett describes the upgrade as the "Cadillac" version of the program with the county currently owning a "Chevrolet."
The upgrades will allow the dispatcher to see where each patrol officer is and will cut down on response times.
"If there is an officer closer to the call, then we can send that officer there and cut down on our response time," Hargett said.
Hargett said right now the average response time is about three to four minutes.
Gober said that's the same for the county. The closest deputies can be dispatched to a call.
Gober said the system can also help with medical and fire calls.
"Once we have the address in there, we can have notes in there in case there are situations where specific instructions are needed."