San Antonio invests in cross-agency, data-sharing system
San Antonio city officials awarded TriTech Software Systems a $14.7 million contract for the development of a citywide emergency-communications data system. The system includes a computer-aided dispatch, mobile data and records management solution that will create a virtual center between three brick-and-mortar facilities, said Chris Maloney, the company’s CEO.
The system will be installed across law-enforcement, fire and EMS agencies for the city of San Antonio, Bexar County and the neighboring city of Schertz. The area wanted to consolidate to support data sharing while still retaining autonomy in separate centers, Maloney explained. Agencies also wanted to share resources, such as police officers or fire trucks, across jurisdictions. The solution was a fiber-optic network that connected each center to a centralized server that houses TriTech’s VisiCAD Command, a Windows-based computer-aided dispatch system. The result that agencies will be able to access geographic and criminal record data from other jurisdictions, he said.
“The centers operate as one, big virtual agency, even though they are physically separated,” Maloney said during an interview with Urgent Communications. “This allows them to instantly request resources across agency boundaries.”
TriTech also will include its mobile data solution, a wireless PC-based fleet application that extends the CAD system to field personnel in more than 1000 first-responder vehicles. Users will have access to agency records and communicate to nearby units from other agencies via mobile-to-mobile computer messaging, Maloney said. In addition, a records-management solution will integrate the CAD, the mobile solutions and other third-party applications so San Antonio Police, Bexar County Sheriff and Schertz Police departments can share and receive information.
“This is just the start of [the three agencies’] future of data sharing,” Maloney said. “They expect this project to grow much larger.”
Maloney noted the company is working with subcontractors on the project, including Advanced Public Safety Systems; Emergency Technologies; US Digital Design; Orion Communications; GIS Data Resources; Deccan International; and Priority Dispatch.