More money need for dispatch system

Carson City Sheriff's Department officials are willing to sacrifice money set aside for a new administration building to purchase extra systems for the city's new computer-aided dispatch system.

In April, Carson dispatchers moved from a converted shed into a new dispatch center with a state-of-the-art computer system. The Tiburon CAD system, however, lacks the ability to interface with public safety records systems and jail management systems.

On Thursday, Carson City supervisors will be asked to spend about $718,000 for new Tiburon records and jail management systems. With contingency funds, the project is estimated at $840,000, almost $320,000 of which had been set aside for architecture and engineering costs for the sheriff's administration building.

"Those funds are rather nominal," Chief Deputy Scott Burau said. "The current building estimates we have to work with right now are in the neighborhood of $6 million to $6.5 million.

"Do we need a new building? Absolutely. Our position was $300,000 right now would go a long way to completing the technology end of what we're trying to complete at the sheriff's office."

The city will also be asked to find an extra $72,000 for the system.

While the CAD system stands alone, the two new systems will allow a more efficient flow of information between local law enforcement entities.

Sheriff's Sgt. Jack Freer, head of a committee dealing with the dispatch system, said the current systems were both new in 1988. Because each record system -- from coroners' reports to evidence listings -- is independent, information can be gathered from only one computer at a time.

"You have to go to whoever is managing those systems and basically ask for that information," Freer said.

The new system is expected to cut down on the "astronomical" amount of paperwork flowing through the sheriff's office. Sheriff's deputies currently transfer handwritten notes into reports. With the new system, they would be able to simply bring up information collected by the computer system and digitally fill in reports. Old information entered into the new system could be imported into a report. The jail management system would make information on inmates more accessible.

Which computer system to buy for the city's $600,000 dispatch center created a heated battle in January 2000 between computer users and those monitoring the costs of buying a new system.

The argument centered on two systems -- HTE being a cheaper system, and Tiburon being the more expensive system but the one preferred by dispatch personnel.

The purchase of the new system was never in dispute. Which system to purchase and its price tag, however, caused a huge rift between city personnel, the mayor and board of supervisors. Supervisors ultimately approved the dispatcher's choice, Tiburon.

If you go:

What: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

When: 10:30 a.m. Thursday

Where: Carson City Community Center's Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.


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