WA Police prepares computer-aided dispatch system replacement

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WA Police prepares computer-aided dispatch system replacement

New tools to cope with growing demand.

The WA Police has kicked off efforts to replace the end-of-life system used across the state to automatically dispatch police to reported incidents.

The state police force was allocated recurrent funding of up to $8.6 million a year to upgrade its core IT systems in the 2013-14 state budget.

It has approached the market for a solution provider to build the new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, which will replace the ageing facility currently provided by Motorola.

The current CAD system is struggling under the increasing load of call volumes being dealt with by the force's various dispatch units, which tender documents estimate are increasing at a rate of over 40,000 reports per annum.

In 2004, 181,000 calls for help were logged in CAD, a figure which grew to 700,000 by 2012.

The replacement is also likely to take place in tandem with some major reforms to how dispatch operations are organised across Australia's most geographically distributed force.

Regional commands currently manage their own tasking and dispatch services locally, but the WA Police is weighing up the option of centralising the non-metropolitan services to improve the use of resources.

The WA Police consists of 7200 staff, including 5400 sworn officers, working across 160 stations.

The current CAD system integrates with in-car and hand-held mobile devices and radios via both the digital radio network and the 3G telephone network, and interconnects with other key policing systems.

These sorts of systems have proven to be the achilles heel of other forces recently, with Victoria's emergency services-wide facility crashing regularly, and Queensland Police failing to integrate its system with partner agencies.

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