The Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system helps dictate the number police squads needed and which fire stations should respond to emergencies for the best response. It includes enhanced records management for first responders out in the field.
The township received five proposals and pursued further conversations with four of the bidders, and those companies gave the evaluation team product demonstrations.
“Throughout this time the evaluation team was not aware of the cost. We had the RFP done specifically so that the cost was done separately as far as their proposals,” Dick said. “We wanted to hold that back, we didn’t want cost to sway or influence the decisions of the team, and the ratings of the team as to what software we felt would serve the public safety needs for the long term future.”
The team’s second choice had the highest price at $1.8 million including $171,024 annually for support. The last place vendor offered $866,951 with $145,341 annually for support. Dick said the pandemic hampered the team’s ability to do site visits to other dispatch centers that use these products, but were able to visit Lebanon, which uses the selected vendor.
The police and fire chiefs told the Journal-News the new system will enhance their operations. Police Chief Joel Herzog said the new system will allow his officers to remain on the patrol longer.
“Officers are not coming back to the station for specific things to enter in and they’re able to do everything from the field,” Herzog said. “So the officers are out on the street and able to clear calls quicker, making them more readily available to the public.”
Fire Chief Rick Prinz said the new software will allow for greater efficiencies and enhance mutual aid situations because it can “talk” to other dispatching entities.
“It will allow for a faster, more rapid dispatch even if it’s not a West Chester unit,” Prinz said. “So we are getting mutual aid must faster when we are busy, to allow for our residents not to endure prolonged response times.”
Dick said in all about 1,500 personnel hours were spent on the process and 27 people from the police, fire, dispatch and IT participated.
Trustee Ann Becker said she was very pleased with the “deep dive” into this system, that is crucial tp public safety.
“This is just integral to how our township functions,” she said. “To have a high-functioning system that will last for years and years and years and it was the cheapest, Dennis nice job.”