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Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) System at Scarborough Police Department


The FY2024 proposed municipal budget includes funding for a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system for Public Safety.

Scarborough Public Safety utilizes a core public safety software suite comprised of three main components, Law Enforcement Records Management (RMS), Fire Department Records Management (FMS), and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD). These software systems are critical to a successful modern public safety system. A Law Enforcement Records Management System is an agency-wide system that provides for the storage, retrieval, retention, archiving, and viewing of information, records, documents, or files pertaining to law enforcement operations. Likewise, a Fire Records Management System provides the same function for the fire department operations. These include arrest or fire reports, accident or patient care reports, investigation tracking or fire and safety inspection reports, and much more. The third part of the core system is the CAD, or Computer Aided Dispatch system. Computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems are utilized by dispatchers, call-takers, and 911 operators to prioritize and record incident calls, identify the status and location of responders in the field, and effectively dispatch responder personnel.

In late 2021, the Town of Scarborough was made aware that after the next two years, our current vendor would no longer provide development on our existing system. This presents a problem for Scarborough because our database, integration points, interfaces and core functionality are dependent upon continuing support and buildout from the vendor. Additionally, the vendor is not committing to providing any enhanced features and functionality to stay current with an ever-evolving technology landscape and changing public safety processes and procedures. Beyond the lack of product growth, we became concerned with the overall long-term sustainability of the core system.

For these reasons, Scarborough began vetting new Public Safety Core Systems. A cross-functional team representing IT, Dispatch, Police, Fire, and EMS has met continuously over the last year to define functional requirements, research potential vendors and systems, view demonstrations and conduct site visits to see the systems live and in production in the field. The team worked extensively with each vendor to research every detail including required modules, improvements in features and functionality, adherence to regulatory requirements, system security and integration with third party systems. 

The Public Safety Leadership Team has submitted a capital improvement proposal, which has been included by the Town Manager in his submitted budget proposal. The estimated cost of this Core System, which includes all software, hardware, connectivity, interfaces, user training, and support for implementation is $825,000. Not only will this expenditure ensure service stability and continuity moving forward, but it will also provide significant improvement in the public safety team’s operations. 

The current core system was purchased in 2007. Now, in its second decade, the limitations of the software have begun to hamper the public safety team’s advancement of processes and services. Every call for service, report taken, arrest made, and suspect booked creates some form of data, which is collected and stored in the Public Safety core system. This data can be mined and analyzed to improve procedures, assign staffing, provide a knowledge base for decision making, identify trends and improve overall safety and security within the community. The new system will also provide increased mobility to enable our public safety staff to respond quickly and efficiently with critical information to better collaborate between units, departments and jurisdictions.

By purchasing this new core system, Scarborough is ensuring public safety consistency, stability and continuing excellence in critical services to all citizens. 

(Page 41 of budget book)

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