$6.6M county dispatch system under fire

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ThePhotoGuy

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$6.6M county dispatch system under fire
Police, firefighters complain new system is dangerous

By Scott Daugherty
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 11:27 am (Updated: December 14, 11:38 am)

In the week since county officials launched a new computer-aided dispatch system, police officers have gone into calls “blind” and dispatchers have lost track of ambulances and fire crews, according to the leaders of some local unions and several officers and firefighters

Anne Arundel County, Maryland

$6.6M county dispatch system under fire | MDGazette.com
 

mm

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Our elected officials at work and to think that they also take lowest bid for things like bullet proof vests.

On the other hand, companies like Motorola and most other large players in public safety communications do so much lobbying that the high dollar communication systems eat up all of their budget money and the result is a crappy CAD system.

300K a year to support S$%t huh, someone isn't qualified to make a decision in this agency and as the article says some Information Technology (IT) officer says it works so it should !

That's the problem that I have seen with so many agencies with more reliance on running the systems on PC's, they rely on IT people to make all of the decisions and all of the testing not on the users nor on seasoned dispatchers who should have more say in the PC end of system design.

The IT people need to be made to sit back and be at the call of the Dispatchers not the other way around.
 

f0urtyfive

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As someone that works in enterprise IT this seems to be an ongoing theme that the small IT groups that most fire/police/government types use just dont know how to handle this stuff properly. Sadly in my field its very very difficult for someone who is non technical to judge the capabilities of someone technical which causes this to be a recurring theme.

This isnt an "IT" problem, its a problem of these smaller IT shops not having the resources/know how to handle large, mission critical applications. When deploying systems that must work 24/7 you need to do loads of design, validation, QA testing, user acceptance testing and ongoing change control (the whole process needs to be heavily documented and controlled by the business for it to work).

Perhaps this quote is out of context, but I'm fairly certain if anyone in my group had such a relaxed attitude about ANY failure of a mission critical system at deployment they would be terminated on the spot, let alone making such a ridiculous statement to a newspaper about the failure of a mission critical system.
“Sure there are a few little kinks, but the main functions are working fine,” said Bill Ryan, county director of information technology.
Edit:
Re-reading the article it looks like they've actually managed to work themselves into a corner; they cant roll-back to the old system because it has some bug that will cause it to die January 1st, and the new system does not have the same history data as the old system.
 
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