Randall County, Texas - Emergency responders can now react faster to 911 calls and fires in the Amarillo area, thanks to a major upgrade to the dispatch system.
It's increasing the safety of Randall County residents and improving communication among law enforcement.
The current dispatch system used in Randall County was purchased in 1999, meaning it's outdated and not compatible with the systems used in Potter County.
But the new advanced computer- aided dispatch system will change all of that.
Randall County Sheriff Joel Richardson explains, "It's the Motorola Premiere 1 CAD and Mobile System with LTE. That stands for the "latest technology evolution." It's a broadband network that is dedicated to public safety."
The system allows for communication between dispatchers and officers on the road, via the computers in their cars, as well as inter-agency communication.
It provides GPS features, and streams real time video from the location of a call.
Richardson says, "It just tells our dispatch right away who is the closest to a call. If the officer in the car happens to not know where the street and address is, it pops up. They will be able to respond in a quicker and more efficient manner."
It also prevents network failure, due to overcrowding of the system.
Richardson explains, "The systems we use today are publicly owned, in other words, a private carrier like Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, or Alltel... we just use one of their cards in our computers. In cases of an emergency, when disaster strikes, the first things to become overloaded are the public systems."