Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin shared information with the Starke County Council and Starke County Commissioners Monday night about the need for a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system for emergency services.
Dulin explained that police, fire, EMS, Starke County Probation, Starke County Prosecutor’s Office and Starke County Community Corrections use the CAD system which logs information about all of the calls the county receives. The current system is outdated which is causing several issues for first responders. Sometimes the wrong address is given to officers and emergency personnel because the computer system doesn’t have the right location of the caller. Other times, dispatchers could have one call open, begin another, and the other original call screen disappears. Dulin said an alert to check on officer safety doesn’t update and the system doesn’t code the correct data when it comes to officer badges in specific jurisdictions.
IT Director Richard Frank said the current company no longer provides adequate tech support for which the county pays an annual $12,000 maintenance fee.
Dulin hopes that the county would be able to go with a Caliber branded system, but even the less expensive system with just basic capabilities to be used by the dispatch center, jail and all of the county’s mobile units would cost in the neighborhood of $250,000. Dulin said all police departments, fire departments and the county’s EMS system would have access to the records as well as the prosecutor’s office, probation department and Starke County Community Corrections.
County Attorney Marty Lucas will be looking into proper acquisition of bids for the potential purchase of a CAD system while the county officials encouraged Dulin to seek funding from all of the other jurisdictions that utilize the service to help pay for the system.
No decision was made by the council or commissioners. More information will be brought forward in a future meeting.