Lucas Co. launches new computer dispatch system - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Lucas Co. launches new computer dispatch system

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Lucas County has launched a new computer dispatch system. It's designed to improve response times and keep officers safe.

The system is in place at the Lucas County 9-1-1 center. The Lucas County Sheriff's Office, as well as Maumee, Oregon, Ottawa Hills, Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Toledo and University of Toledo police departments all started using it last week.

 Business owner Alfred Dailey owns a store on Fernwood in the inner city.  He says he has called 9-1-1 many times.     

"They are in this area all the time. In this area you call the cops and the come right away," he says.  

But that's not always the case. Some residents who did not want to go on camera claim they've had to wait for officers to show up.  Lucas County has launched a new dispatch computer system to improve response times. Eight police departments are learning the system.

"It definitely has its advantages and its points that are good. Its just working out the kinks we are definitely still working out some kinks," says Sgt. Jill Mannebach of the Toledo police department.

The police cars have automatic vehicle locators. A dispatcher enters the emergency information. A map shows an officers location so they can send the closest car.

"Not only does the dispatchers but every other police car in the city of toledo knows exactly where every car is," says Deputy Chief George Kral of the Toledo police department.

The computer system has many features.      

"In a case, God forbid, where there's a major incident where we have to bring in mutual aid packs. Everybody in Lucas County sees the exact same thing at the exact same time. It will reduce confusion and increase efficiency," says Kral.

There's a downfall to the system.

"It's new, it's new. For the dispatchers it's a little more labor intensive. Obviously, when something new starts, there's bugs that need to be worked out, especially when you're talking about a new computer dispatch center," says Kral.

 A tech team is on hand to smooth out any kinks. The new system is also an officer safety tool if they get into a chase. Dailey called it a good management tool.

"That's an excellent idea because we need that. Especially the way the crime is now that's an excellent idea," he says.  

The department play back an officers entire shift. The new system cost six and a half million dollars. It was paid for through 9-1-1 wireless funds and tax payer money.


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