Fairfield’s dispatch and records system to get upgrades

Fairfield police vehicle, 2018

Combined ShapeCaption
Fairfield police vehicle, 2018

The Fairfield Police Department has its new computer-aided dispatch and records management system, but now it’s just a matter of getting it installed.

City Council approved a $311,468 contract with Florida-based CentralSquare Technologies for the new CAD/RMS. City Manager Scott Timmer said the city’s current system “has been in place for over 15 years and is in need of an upgrade.”

The CAD/RMS is the department’s “lifeblood,” as Police Chief Steve Maynard called it in a 2020 Journal-News story. The system is responsible for every contact the department has with the public, which includes tens of thousands of calls for service ― most of which are 911 calls for police and fire ― and even more non-emergency calls.

“Our current system has been outpaced by their competitors and no longer offers a product that meets our current needs. We have done extensive research on systems that are currently available and believe that CentralSquare offers the best product for our current needs,” according to a staff report Maynard presented to City Council. “A new CAD/RMS system is essential to the overall function of the police department and dispatch center.”

The contract with CentralSquare is for 10 years, but the first year of the contract is part of the upfront software and hardware costs. Each contract year is payable annually, and after the fifth year, there is an increase in the annual payment.

Maynard told the Journal-News that the installation will take some time. A discussion next week with the vendor and the department’s consultant will hammer down the specifics, including if the supply chain could impact the installation. The chief emphasized the installation of the new system will cause no issues in people calling 911, non-emergency calls for service, community coverage, or record-keeping.

The installation will include the hardware and new servers, as well as the software. But there is also training.

“The training aspect is going to take some time,” Maynard said. “Because everyone in the department uses this system, everyone, my nearly 100 employees are going to have to be trained on this system.”

Also, the chief said there are certain aspects integrated into the existing software.

The chief said it was important to upgrade the nearly two-decade CAD/RMS, but hopes this is the only time he will have to do this type of project.

“It’s been such a long, drawn-out, complicated process to make sure we get the right system for the department,” Maynard said. “I want to make sure we have a robust platform that’s going to serve our needs for the foreseeable future.”

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