The Sallisaw Police department has a new dispatch system, shown above with long-time dispatcher Bill Carney. Police Chief Terry Franklin said the department's old system had safety issues. The new system, all digital, propels dispatch into the technology age.
The new system, with touch-screen abilities, connects the police department with the county sheriff's office, all emergency personnel, the tornado warning system, paging system and all city departments. The new dispatch was approved by the city commission, and cost a bit less than $29,000, Capt. Jeff Murray said. Murray is Franklin's administrative captain and is in charge of dispatch.
Franklin said the old system had become a safety hazard, breaking down often. It had been repaired multiple times, by multiple companies."The cost was mounting. We were beginning to spend a large amount of money just bandaiding it together," stated Franklin.
The new system includes a larger server, Franklin said, which provides computer technology to the entire department. Murray added that the system is large enough to expand if needed. He particularly likes that the system can identify an officer's radio if that officer makes a distress call but is unable to provide all the information needed.
Franklin said the department, last year, rebuilt cabinets and remodeled, with officers' help. Next up is the department's backup generator, inspected by Franklin, left, and Murray in the above photo. The generator provides power in case of a blackout. Murray said the generator now depended on by the department is from the 1950s. It does work and is tested weekly. But it would be nice to update the police department completely.
"We are starting to catch up," Franklin said.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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