Integrated Data Keeps Agencies Connected

April 13, 2021 by Devin Culham

Integrated Data Keeps Agencies Connected

Beyond the front range of the Colorado Rockies, communities have more than just miles putting distance between them. Rough terrain, limited mountain roads, and environmental factors can make communication between neighboring public safety agencies challenging.

In 2012, Colorado’s Mesa County upgraded its technology solution to a fully integrated product suite, enabling agencies to have greater access to data and information than ever before.

“Our previous computer-aided dispatch system was a standalone system,” said evidence technician Kelly Clingman of Grand Junction Police Department. “It didn’t allow us to access other agencies’ records and information.”

For Clingman, not having direct access to information from other agencies stifled efficiency.

“For example, I used to work in records for two years and someone would come in asking for a case report,” shared Clingman. “Now, I can easily look it up in our system and say, ‘That’s not ours, but it’s at the sheriff’s office.’”

Before the technology upgrade, something as simple as getting a case report could take hours instead of minutes.

“We would never have been able to do that before without saying, ‘Good luck, try going over to the sheriff’s office and see if they have it,’” Clingman said candidly.

Since then, the police department has enjoyed greater data-sharing between agencies across the county.

“Our dispatch center reaches to over 20 law enforcement agencies, and they can do it all through CAD,” said Clingman. “All these agencies can read that information and know that information is more reliable than calling up someone directly.”

According to Clingman, the time saved gathering information has had a profound effect on workplace efficiency.

“Switching to a public safety software vendor that really understood how public safety agencies work, gave us all those opportunities to have great deal of access to information,” said Clingman. “And in a timely manner too, just really quick.”

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