DuPage improving information system for police, fire

Updated 6/30/2016 5:53 PM

DuPage County's Emergency Telephone System Board has agreed to spend $13.4 million over the next seven years to improve a countywide information system used by police departments, fire departments and other authorities.

The DuPage Justice Information System includes computer-aided dispatch, law enforcement record management and report writing. As part of a contract approved this week, those parts of the system will be replaced with new software and hardware. The $13.4 million deal with Intergraph Corp. also includes five years of maintenance and system upgrades.

Work on the project is expected to start in August and take 24 months.

Linda Zerwin, executive director of the DuPage ETSB, said the equipment that's being replaced is a decade old. "By replacing the system now, we're ready for the next generation of 911 and the statewide network," she said.

The transition also will give every DuPage police and fire department -- even ones using their own systems -- the opportunity to participate in the countywide system.

"We look forward to providing municipalities and agencies in DuPage County a state-of-the-art, integrated justice information system," said Gary Grasso, chairman of the DuPage ETSB. "This system will be a benefit to everyone who uses it, and will provide first responders and other justice professionals accurate, up-to-date information from the initiation of an incident through disposition of a case."

The new system, for example, will create a user-friendly database that will help eliminate multiple entries and cut down on the amount of clerical time and data entry errors, officials said.

"In an emergency, when time is of the essence, immediate access to accurate, up-to-date information is absolutely necessary in planning and executing the appropriate response," State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement.

Berlin said DuPage's system will provide more than 50 law enforcement and government agencies with the information they need to quickly and appropriately access and respond to any public safety issue.

DuPage officials said the cost of the project will be shared between the various entities participating in the system. The DuPage ETSB, which is funded through 911 surcharge fees, is expected to contribute roughly $7.4 million.

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