La Vergne works to replace faulty emergency system
May 9, 2013 04:08 PM
Reported By Joseph Pleasant, Reporter - bio | email
LA VERGNE, Tenn. -
The city of La Vergne is working to replace an emergency system that is dropping emergency calls and putting lives at risk, according to the police chief.
La Vergne Police Chief Mike Walker told Nashville's News 2 that the current computerized dispatch system is 14-years-old and is plagued by problems.
"It's in terrible shape, its old architecture and its old code," Chief Walker said. "It was not really a good product when it was purchased initially."
Walker became chief in 2011. He noticed the problems with the Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) system immediately.
"Dispatchers would key in emergency calls and it would drop calls," he said.
Chief Walker also said maintenance costs thousands of dollars every year.
On Tuesday La Vergne's Board of Aldermen unanimously gave approval for Chief Walker to start negotiating with a company to replace the system and upgrade dispatch.
The entire project is expected to cost between $800,000 and $900,000 for the complete system upgrade including software, computers, new dispatch work stations and a records management component that will also be added.
A portion of the money was appropriated in La Vergne's 2012-2013 budget and Rutherford County's E911 board provided a $128,000 grant to offset a portion of the costs.
"It will totally change the way we do things here," Chief Walker said. "We can't put a price tag on a life and with the system we have today that's what we are risking as a community."
Jaime Leezy has lived in La Vergne for more than 10 years.
The mother of two was shocked to hear how outdated the dispatch system she relies on is in La Vergne.
"To find out it is that old and calls are getting dropped does concern me," she said. "For emergencies or if something happens to my children I want to be able for them to be there for me."
Chief Walker said the new CAD system will likely be up and running before the end of the year.
Once it is in place it will also be able to interact with neighboring community's emergency systems as well as databases from the TBI and FBI.
The community will also have access to crime statistics for their areas with the use of the new records management component of the system.