EUGENE, Ore. — A new system for local police and dispatchers has officially launched, and project leaders say it’s helping make the public safer.
Eugene and Springfield police and fire personnel are breaking ground for the state. They’re the first agencies in Oregon to use the SunGard Records and Dispatch System.
“The push is to enhance our ability to share information, which brings about a greater capability in solving a larger number of crimes and holding offenders accountable,” said Officer Eric Pardee, Springfield Police Department.
The new system replaced the agencies’ old, mainframe system, which was developed in the 1960s. Project leaders say the old system served them well, but it was time for a change.
“It didn’t have a lot of the more modern elements,” said Loring Hummel, Project Manager.
Officers now have more information at their fingertips. Each Springfield and Eugene patrol car now has a GPS tracking system.
“You can click right on the map, and it plots right on the map where the call is at,” Pardee said.
911 dispatchers will also utilize that tool. They can look at the map and send the officer closest to each call, which should greatly increase response time. Hummel says the new system saves times in many ways.
“A mobile office is you will. So that the officers can do more and more and more in the field. They’re not coming back to headquarters to do basic tacks,” Hummel said.
One of the biggest advantages is officers now fill out electronic reports from their cars.
“It gives basic information of where the call’s at, what time it came in, and why we’re going to that location,” Pardee said.
Moving towards being completely paperless, the new SunGard System will cost about half of what the old system cost.
Being first in the state to adopt it, the company gave Eugene and Springfield a big discount to the tune of nearly $2.5 million.
This is just phase one of the rollout. And for such a major technology overhaul, they say so far, so good.
Now that the switch is official, they’re focused on delving into all the new possibilities.
“The promise of the system is that it will make all aspects of police work more efficient,” said Hummel said.