The new-and-improved, $3 million, Intergraph computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system went into effect Tuesday, officials said, hailing the upgrade as the most significant public-safety information technology project that the three cities have undertaken in the past decade.
The “virtual consolidation” project standardizes emergency telephone and radio communications, and will make emergency response more efficient between Palo Alto police, the Mountain View Police Department and Los Altos Police Department, officials said in a joint release.
The $3 million investment in the project is being shared proportionately by the three cities.
Previously, each city used a stand-alone CAD system that did not provide interoperability or a direct interface.
All three cities now can immediately share information, dispatch calls, and communicate with first responders over the system -- which agencies said will increase efficiency, reduce response times, and improve the use of resources during mutual-aid incidents or emergencies that cross jurisdictional boundaries.
The Palo Alto Communications Center is the 9-1-1 public safety answering point for both the City of Palo Alto and Stanford University, and dispatches for the Palo Alto Police and Fire Departments, the Stanford University Department of Public Safety, Palo Alto Utilities, Palo Alto Public Works, Palo Alto Animal Services, and park rangers with Palo Alto Open Space.
The Mountain View Emergency Communications Center is the 9-1-1 public safety answering point for the City of Mountain View, and dispatches for the Mountain View Police and Fire departments, Mid-Peninsula Open Space District, and provides after-hour communications for the city’s Public Works Department.
The Los Altos Communications Center is the 9-1-1 public safety answering point for the City of Los Altos, dispatching for the Los Altos Police department, and providing after-hour communications for the city’s Public Works Department.
Implementing complex and mission-critical technology that impacts multiple agencies is not without risk, but the transition to this new system has been "successful beyond expectations," the departments reported.
The core CAD system is functioning as expected and Intergraph has staff onsite during the initial rollout period to immediately address any issues that may arise.
This project involved a long-term, concerted partnership between all three cities, and the successful implementation is a direct result of the planning and preparation of the past two years to design and configure technology that provides a state-of-the-art system for the citizens of each community in a fiscally responsible manner through shared costs and resources, they said.
"Our communities will continue to receive the very same high level of service to which they have been accustomed from our public safety agencies," authorities said.