County will turn off new dispatch system (Anne Arundel County, MD)

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ThePhotoGuy

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County will turn off new dispatch system
Bows to pressure from public safety unions
By SCOTT DAUGHERTY, Staff Writer
Published 12/23/11


Following a request by the union representing the bulk of the county's police officers, the county will temporarily pull the plug on its new computer-aided dispatch system.

County Police Chief James Teare announced Friday morning to his officers the department would revert to the system it used before Dec. 6, as county staff works to address problems with the computer software. He said the change — which will affect four other county agencies — should occur Tuesday.

County will turn off new dispatch system • Public Record (www.HometownAnnapolis.com - The Capital)
 

cifn2

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The purchased it back in January 2008, and it was just turned on December 6? WOW talk about long time to be paying on something before you get it!
 

datainmotion

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Four years and they (the agencies) still don't have it configured the way they want it? Seems like poor planning to me - after all, Tiburon isn't some "Johnny-come-lately" to CAD.

Dispatchers complained that the system — with its modern graphic interface — is more complicated to navigate than the old, text-based system.
What were they using before - Packet Cluster? Does anyone still make a text-based CAD?
 

sc8

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Motorola Printrak CAD, at least the version being used in my county, is still text based. Everything is done with two letter commands and the F# keys of the keyboard.
 

maus92

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Looks like it's permanent:

"Anne Arundel official: Unplugged $6.6M emergency dispatch system not likely to relaunch
"We're not getting a return on our investment," county IT director says.

By BEN WEATHERS bweathers@capgaznews.com
Nearly two years after Anne Arundel County unplugged a $6.6 million police and fire dispatch system, the county’s information technology director said he is not anticipating its return.
Although he wouldn’t say definitively that the county would not relaunch the Tiburon E-911 Computer-Aided Dispatch System, IT Director Richard Durkee says there was “no compelling reason” to.
Instead, the county has formed a committee of representatives across its public safety departments tasked with studying ways to improve its current dispatch system and the possibility of upgrading its software.
The system was taken offline after 21 days of service in December 2011, following complaints from police officers, who said that the system didn’t provide specific addresses in some cases.
Likewise dispatchers complained the system’s graphic interface was too complicated to navigate."

-more- at the link:

Anne Arundel official: Unplugged $6.6M emergency dispatch system not likely to relaunch - CapitalGazette.com: For The Record
 

troymail

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A huge waste of taxpayer dollars -- not only in the cost of the system, but also in the years (yes, years) spent trying to bring it online. I guess over the past several years since this happened, several have lost their jobs -- but not necessarily directly due to this failure.

We don't have the money to get it right but we do seem to have the money to throw away.
 

ThePhotoGuy

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Disgusting, it is amazing that they can just throw money out the window and don't care.

The system probably would have worked but they properly didn't train everyone and all parties just didn't want to learn the new system and it was easier to just stay status quo.
 

troymail

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The system probably would have worked but they properly didn't train everyone and all parties just didn't want to learn the new system and it was easier to just stay status quo.
This may be partially true but I do know there were both situations where the new system did not integrate well with existing systems (at least on the fire department side). Also, from experience, many of these newer systems are GUI (user interface) driven and designed in a generic vs. tailored way. They can be usable but very tedious to use. This was one of the things the police department complained about - and the fact it would take much longer to complete reports - keeping officers from getting back to handling calls.
 

maus92

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Also, from experience, many of these newer systems are GUI (user interface) driven and designed in a generic vs. tailored way. They can be usable but very tedious to use. This was one of the things the police department complained about - and the fact it would take much longer to complete reports - keeping officers from getting back to handling calls.
Interface design is often neglected. Ergonomists should, but rarely are consulted when designing man-machine interactions in the CAD world. Part of the issue are systems that demand certain info to be entered before proceeding - great for data integrity, but poor for usability / speed of dispatch when info is sketchy or partial...
 

troymail

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Interface design is often neglected. Ergonomists should, but rarely are consulted when designing man-machine interactions in the CAD world. Part of the issue are systems that demand certain info to be entered before proceeding - great for data integrity, but poor for usability / speed of dispatch when info is sketchy or partial...
Yup - I live with this everyday in my job. The developers are fed information by "usability engineers". This information may or may not be good (you get what you pay for) and many times, the developers just ignore what they are told. Having said that, it's really about working with the users directly and understanding how they do their job and doing as much as possible to simplify use and data entry. The UEs and developers most times have no idea what it's like to be the user -- in this case a firefighter, paramedic, or police officer -- and data entry in NOT their primary job function (they don't work in an office).

In this case, none of that happened anyway because a generic "off-the-shelf" product was purchased -- a tool that was created to satisfy a wide market.
 

dpcain

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They should probably just get Sungard OSSI... best CAD/RMS suite I've ever used from the field side, and the dispatchers are fond of it too.
 

OpSec

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They should probably just get Sungard OSSI... best CAD/RMS suite I've ever used from the field side, and the dispatchers are fond of it too.
You might be the only person I've heard say that...not too much love for Sungard/HTE in my neck of the woods.

+1 on training issues...I wonder what the rest of the story in AA County is. The articles only cover the "public" side of this.
 

ThePhotoGuy

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You might be the only person I've heard say that...not too much love for Sungard/HTE in my neck of the woods.

+1 on training issues...I wonder what the rest of the story in AA County is. The articles only cover the "public" side of this.
Another problem but also deals with training was that all call signs/beat names changed. Some district alignments also changed.

The Computers were saying 3B5 and 3B4 should respond but 3A1 and 3A2 should actually respond because they were closer.

Supervisors didn't know the beat call sign locations which added to even more confusion.

The police supervisors were pulling up paper maps to determine which units were closer to respond!

Some district commanders were upset that they got more area to cover without getting more officers.

It was just a huge communication and training mistake.

On the fire side they also had problems with the computers not picking the right units for calls.
 
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