Centre County commissioners OK more upgrades for 911 system

Two new contract approvals Tuesday by the Centre County Board of Commissioners will mean some additional spending on new aspects of the county 911 system.

The proposals were taken to the board by Centre County 911 Assistant Director Dale Neff.

The first contract, between the county and Tiburon Inc., will see an upgrade to the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Network Interface for a total cost of $15,585.

The interface, which works with the county’s computer-aided dispatch, is a “critical technology piece,” Neff said. It enables an officer to search police databases through a mobile computer in a police car or with handheld devices.

“The nature of connectivity through 911 to the state police is being upgraded,” he said, “so there’s a necessity to change the equipment now.”

The upgrade will cost $14,200, with a $1,385 maintenance fee for the period of Sept. 1 through April 15, he said. Maintenance fees will be about $3,800 a year when the contract renews in April.

The second contract, between the county and Mission Critical Partners Inc., requests procurement support for the implementation of a new countywide computer-aided dispatch system for $30,000 plus expenses.

Computer-aided dispatch is part of 911 today, Neff said, managing call-taking, dispatching, suggesting units and generally keeping track of everything.

“Dispatchers use it constantly,” he said. “It’s an integral part of the day.”

The current CAD system is at the end of its life, according to the vendor, he said, similar to how Microsoft declared Windows XP will no longer be supported.

County 911 seeks to upgrade to a another platform similar to the current CAD, he said.

Commissioner Michael Pipe asked if there was any way residents and those who use the CAD system on a regular basis could be a part of the selection process. Neff said there are plans to have citizen and user focus groups as well as internal focus groups of telecommunicators, police and EMS dispatchers and county experts.

“It’s a big effort,” Neff said. “There will be a lot of people involved.”

Commissioners also approved a license agreement with Communications Infrastructure Corp. for space on the county’s Woodward 911 tower for two microwave dishes.

Under the terms of the agreement, the company will pay the county $3,600 a month for an initial term of 36 months with an annual escalator of 2 percent.