Indy’s 911 center to improve response times with multi-million dollar upgrade

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Seconds matter in an emergency. Response times are critical.  But, the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety is working with an outdated dispatch system.

“This is 20-year-old technology,” said Public Safety Communications Chief Tim Baughman.

Baughman said it’s time for an upgrade especially with Marion County’s call load.

“It’s three million calls a year that come in and of those calls, 1.4 million police reports are tallied up,” said Baughman.

He said DPS just signed a 10-year, $10 million dollar contract with a company called InterAct to replace its old system with a state of the art Computer Assisted Dispatch program or CAD. The goal is to help police, firefighters and paramedics respond faster and work more efficiently.

“We can actually have information coming into the CAD that we hadn’t had in the past that is very valuable,” Baughman said.  “Like the location floor plans for buildings, if people have specific needs like wheelchairs, if there are hazards stored in a facility or building.”

The integrated automation with the new system will also provide faster updates.

“That’s allowing 911 operators to get off the call sooner and take another call,” said Baughman.

There will also be a social media function integrated into the system called Safe Town where residents will be able to take pictures of a suspect’s car and send that to first responders in the field.  The new system will be rolled out over the next 18 months and it will be paid for with bonds and a police grant.

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