How InterAct's CAD cloud solution helps departments share everything
No limit on what information an agency can add to the system, including warnings, prior incidents and resident information
At APCO 2013 back in August, I visited with a number of vendors marketing everything from police radios to cloud services to cleaning supplies for consoles.
Computer-aided dispatch (CAD) was heavily in the mix, with 40 registered vendors in the exhibit hall. I had a particularly fruitful discussion with Andrew Moreno-Sayko, Western regional sales manager for InterAct Public Safety, over a grilled cheese sandwich called “The First Responder.”
He discussed how InterAct’s products meet specific needs for the front-line dispatcher, and then invited me for a demo.
Public Safety Cloud
Moreno-Sayko showed me InterAct’s InterDEx national data sharing network, which runs on their CAD software. He also explained the InterAct Public Safety Cloud. “InterAct facilitates data sharing,” Moreno-Sayko explains. “It is open software hosted at NLETS [national law enforcement telecommunications systems], and an agency’s record management software doesn’t have to interact to share the data.”
Indiana and Maryland use InterAct software statewide. “In Indiana, the government cut the number of PSAPs [public safety answering points] in half, so they looked to a platform that could share,” says Moreno-Sayko.
In line with the records management and data sharing aspect, I was intrigued with their CAD system’s integration of all the data into the computer screen dispatchers spend the most time staring at.
Another very useful feature is the ability to put more than one command on a single line. I don’t remember how many times I would have an officer tell me he was out on a traffic stop right before another officer cleared with radio traffic reference his or her call. Although it only took a few seconds to type the first, enter, then move to the next, the ability to do it all on one line would save the need to hold so much information in short-term memory. It also prevents dropped commands.
The InterAct system also allows pre-populated choices for location, code, etc. This can be programmed as an auto-fill or a drop-down box. An agency can add any kind of information into the system, including warnings, prior incidents, and resident information such as medical needs or the location of a fire key. A building blueprint could also be added.
Another neat thing in this CAD system is the ability to add standard questions affiliated with a particular call code.
For example, if a 911 operator clicks on the code “bomb threat,” another window pops up with prompts for particular questions to ask. This is incredibly useful – we were required to document certain traits of a caller if a bomb threat was called in, such as accent, tone of voice and background noise. This was unique from other calls.
InterDEx adds to the CAD the ability to have fully integrated data runs such as a person or license plate. The system is fully compliant with National Emergency Number Association (NENA).
Updates Without Fuss
The lack of limits on the information you can add, the security offered by records management hosted at NLETS, and the ease of use made InterAct’s products quite appealing to me. I believe this would be true for any 911 operator/dispatcher and communications center manager.
“This is the last piece of software they’ll need to buy, as long as they’re happy with us,” Moreno-Sayko concluded.
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