DEC 16, 2018
California Highway Patrol (CHP) is a large team; in fact one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the U.S. Chief Information Officer, Scott Silsbee, oversees 350 employees in the Information Management Division of CHP who provide technical support for the department and officers on patrol. Scott was responsible for implementing a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and integrated mobile solution to improve communication between dispatchers and officers to reduce response time and increase officer safety. Scott had a big responsibility.
In 2012, CHP implementing CAD Enterprise software in all 25 communications centers statewide. The first site, Sacramento Communications Center, began production use of the new system, in a pilot mode, in April of 2011. After hundreds of system tweaks, CHP began rolling CAD out to the other 24 communications centers in January of 2012. By July 2012, in collaboration with the CentralSquare, training had been completed for the statewide roll out which included installing over 600 CAD workstations and training over 1000 dispatchers on the new system. “The new system improves our operation and efficiency on many, many levels,” said Silsbee, “but suffice it to say that the greatest improvement is the fact that dispatchers can now see exactly where officers are located on a map and then dispatch them by proximity. Clearly this will reduce officer response times which will help to clear traffic and save lives.”
Equally important is the positive impact on officer safety. “In the past, for example, if our officers found themselves in a shooting and they didn’t have the opportunity to give their location on the radio or they were injured and unable, we would spend valuable time trying to guess where they were to provide back-up and or medical assistance,” explained Silsbee. “With CAD Enterprise, our dispatchers know exactly where the officers are and can send help directly. In our 84- year history we have lost 223 officers and I am confident this system will help to slow that pace.”
“I’m proud to say that this very successful, multi-year project came in under budget and on time. In fact it was so successful the Department of Parks and Recreation approached us about a collaborative effort in updating their system. Essentially DPR, rather than reinventing the wheel and wasting time and money, is using our CAD in their communications centers throughout the state. So not only does it save money and improve DPR’s operations, but it also improves the communication between our departments and how we respond to critical incidents. And since DPR provides dispatching services for DFW, this new CAD truly is a multi-agency, collaborative win for all of us.”