Success Stories

Arapahoe County Colorado Makes a Coordinated, Multi-Agency 911 Network a Reality

Aerial photograph of Colorado skyline with mountains in the background.

As the 3rd largest county in the state of Colorado, Arapahoe County encompasses a vast area of approximately 800 square miles, including both busy urban and remote rural areas and nearly 580,000 citizens.

The Arapahoe County 911 Authority, a governance board responsible for 911 across nearly all jurisdictions in the county, knew that having each municipality within the County on separate computer-aided dispatch (CAD) solutions was a barrier to communication, adding time and possible confusion to response across localities.

Most of the police departments (PD) within Arapahoe County, including Englewood PD, Glendale PD, Greenwood PD, and Littleton PD, were using solutions with limited scalability and capability. Led by the Sheriff’s Office, some of the Chiefs, PSAP managers, and the 911 Authority began discussing the opportunity of a unified, common CAD solution that would allow for sharing of data and enhanced communication across the agencies within Arapahoe County.

Making A COORDINATED, MULTI-AGENCY 911 NETWORK A REALITY

Knowing that seconds save lives when it comes to responding to incidents in the community, the County committed to finding a common CAD solution that would connect their current disparate systems and allow for future agencies to come on board if they wanted – the true definition of configurable interoperability.

John Jackson, former Chief of Police for Greenwood Village and Chairman of the Arapahoe County 911 Board Authority was chosen to lead the project and along with fellow board members and Chiefs, they began exploring technology solutions.

With the team assembled, they mapped out the requirements to agree on exactly what the interoperable system would do and how it would work. They established a point person to be the conduit between the team, the hub, vendor, and agencies as they onboard.

The team committed to over-communicating and collaboration. As John said, “there was no circling back, we addressed topics when we had everyone together and worked our way through each one until we had a joint decision. We made a commitment to be transparent and honest with expectations. We synthesized our discussions on paper, with clear and achievable agendas and summary meeting minutes provided to everyone as a follow-up.”

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SOLUTION

A 911 operator at her terminal with headset on.

The Arapahoe team understood the magnitude and benefits of the project, but also knew the risks, especially for the elected leaders. They needed a trusted partner and turned to CentralSquare’s CAD Enterprise as the mission-critical CAD engine that is now shared across jurisdictions. Each agency is now able to configure their unique business rules, alerts, response plans, and workflow while sharing data across the platform to better coordinate response. The result is a cohesive understanding of critical situations as they unfold, and more lives and property saved.

Today’s largest cities and counties on a common dispatch platform across police, fire, and EMS use CentralSquare’s CAD Enterprise, providing confidence that the solution for Arapahoe would deliver on bringing together call-taking and dispatching platforms with fully integrated 911 for multiple jurisdictions. Chief Jackson was also looking for a partner to truly lead the project from beginning to end and hit critical deadlines without disrupting the normal day-to-day activities of the officers and agencies involved.

“They [CentralSquare] understood that the system updates were critical, but also knew it was not the day job for our Police Chiefs. Their team supported our Chiefs with just the right level of information, they listened and answered questions, and most important, they delivered when they said they would. When we asked for something, the CentralSquare team knocked it out of the park,” Jackson said.

THE RESULT AND WHAT'S NEXT

Two computer monitors displaying CentralSquare's CAD enterprise solution.

Today, all six jurisdictions that Chief Jackson brought together, including five law enforcement PSAPs and one Fire/EMS PSAP, to buy into the common CAD vision are seeing the benefits of increased collaboration in reduced response times due to adjacent agencies being able to assist in incidents outside of their own communities. Regardless of borders, the right unit is dispatched to the right place in the fastest amount of time.

The flexibility for each communication center to be able to continue to have their own distinct operations while also being able to operate on a single system to share resources, data, and costs of a regional system has been a game-changer. This is where the ability to configure CentralSquare CAD Enterprise to fit the needs of your agency comes into play with customizable dashboards, workflows, and screen layouts that allow dispatchers to build a CAD interface that reflects their priorities.

With CAD Enterprise fully deployed, Jackson and the Arapahoe County team have already completed the steps of integrating the CentralSquare records management system (RMS) for increased data-sharing beyond their common CAD, that now will include criminal records, warrants, citations, and digital evidence for even more optimizing collaboration within the County.

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