Pictured is Searcy County Jail Administrator Tracy Sutterfield instructing Dispatcher/Detention Officer Blake Kelley on the use of the new CAD system upgrades on dispatch, booking and evidence used at the Searcy County Sheriff's Office. Kelley said, "The new system makes the old handwriting system obsolete, which will make us more accurate and efficient."
SCSO installs CAD system
Under the direction of Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell, the Searcy County Detention Center recently switched to a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, replacing the age-old process of handwriting everything. Cassell said his office recently installed the CAD system that will allow his department to operate a greater rate of efficiency.
Cassell explained that law enforcement agencies use CAD to facilitate incident response and communication in the field. CAD systems, in many cases, are the first point of entry for information coming into the law enforcement system.
He added that the typical CAD system functions include resource management, call taking, location verification, dispatching, unit status management, and call disposition. Additionally, mapping functionality, interface with mobile data computers (MDC), and interfaces with other external local, state, and federal information systems may be included. Call takers, dispatchers, and their supervisors are primary users of CAD. Units in the field have the ability to interact via mobile data computers.
Searcy County Chief Deputy Dewayne Pierce said, "This system upgrade is very important and something that we have all wanted for a long time. This will allow our department to perform at a higher level and become even more efficient. It gives us the ability to have our reporting system directly interact with the jail and detention side of the department."
Searcy County Jail Administrator Tracy Sutterfield said, "This is something that the sheriff, chief deputy and I have wanted to see happen for the last 18 months. Now is the time to make the department more efficient. The new system eliminates the need to generate paperwork and stores all the information in one, central location."
She added that the CAD systems allow public safety operations and communications to be augmented, assisted, or partially controlled by an automated system. It can include, among other capabilities, computer-controlled emergency vehicle dispatching, vehicle status, incident reporting, and management information. The CAD system also supports other activities that assist in the effective use of public safety resources, including shift change roll call and "Be on the lookout" (BOLO) alerts.
Pierce explained, "It's made life easier for everyone who works here. It will automatically print out an activity report for a specified time period so deputies no longer have to go through hand written logs which eliminates the need to hand search the information."
Sutterfield added, "Deputies can type in an address and find out immediately if someone responded to it and if so, when and why. It also connects with the deputy. For example, if someone comes in and files a complaint, the deputy has immediate access to the information and can follow up immediately. It will also provide a summary of the complaint. "
She said, "The CAD system keeps up with every call that comes through the system, 911 or land line, every call that goes to a deputy, every traffic stop if it results in arrest. It will log special issues such as a vicious dog or weapons so the deputy is aware of the issue before arriving on scene. This information remains on file so if there is another call to the same address it automatically informs the deputy of the problem. The system also keeps up with the officer's location so the dispatcher always knows where they are located. When fully operational, the system has the ability to send the addresses to the deputy's cell phone along with a map so they can find their location must faster."
"The Searcy County 911 Coordinator Gary Ragland was extremely instrumental and still is in making CAD system become a reality for us," Pierce said. "He is our "go-to" guy. Gary stepped in and offered to make this happen and did. We couldn't have done this without him. He made this a reality."
Pierce said the new booking system will automatically update at the time of arrest, so the public will have the latest arrest information. "After they are booked in, the jail roster updates immediately. The new RPS inmate roster includes the current inmate in jail, 24 hour arrests and 24 hour releases. Each inmate entry lists their name, personal information, arrest date, charges and bonds if applicable."
To have access to this information, Pierce explained that you must go to the play/app store on your mobile device and download the free RPS-Inmate app.
"The RPS app allows people to view the updated roster at their convenience. It is updated at the moment of the booking," Pierce added.
"The new CAD system is more efficient from beginning to end," Sutterfield said. "It interfaces with 911 so it automatically updates. Since becoming familiar with the new system, the staff loves it."
Cassell stated, "It's time we join the rest of the world. This is something we have needed to do for 20 years. There is a more efficient way to do our job and CAD allows us the way to do that."
For more information about the CAD system, contact Pierce or Sutterfield at the Searcy County Detention Center by calling 870-448-2340.