Brookhaven, GA, December 20, 2016 – by Renee Turner, Staff Writer – The Brookhaven Police Department is operating a new electronic program developed by the Dunwoody Police Department called “CAD-to-CAD Interface” through the Chattahoochee River 9-1-1 Authority (ChatComm) emergency dispatch service.
Brookhaven Chief of Police, Gary Yandura told The Post that he has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement with the Dunwoody Chief of Police, Billy Grogan, for the awaited CAD (computer-aided dispatch) system that is a 9-1-1 dispatch and processing service for fire and emergency medical services (EMS).
The cities of Brookhaven and Dunwoody received dispatch through DeKalb County before ChatComm. Through an intergovernmental agreement, the Brookhaven Police Department became one of four cities in Georgia utilizing ChatComm that includes the cities of Johns Creek, Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. In 2008, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs were the first to enter into the Georgia-based agreement, later Dunwoody signed up in 2011.
Brookhaven City Council, after recognizing the efficiency of the service, voted in March of 2014 to enter into an agreement with ChatComm and began services that Fall. Through ChatComm, a caller dials 911 via cell phone or landline and connects directly to ChatComm dispatch.
Originally through ChatComm, Dunwoody and Brookhaven were only able to receive dispatched calls for their individual police departments, and not for fire or EMS. Before the CAD-to-CAD Interface, depending on the type of emergency call received, the Brookhaven Police Department would be either forwarded the calls for the department or, through the press of a one-button-transfer system, be routed through DeKalb County dispatch for fire or EMS.
Due to a number of issues and high-volume DeKalb County emergency calls receive each day, Dunwoody officials decided to develop a software program that would bypass DeKalb’s dispatch through an electronic-access connection for their police department for fire and EMS calls, linked through ChatComm.
Dunwoody did have a few issues to work out with the CAD-to-CAD Interface system before they got it working. Though it took some time for Dunwoody to develop the program, Brookhaven officials remained interested in this added system because they recognized that it saved valuable time. After a year-and-a-half working out handoff issues with the system, Brookhaven is now on board.
Chief Yandura says this new system is more efficient and can save as much as a minute. “One minute can make all the difference in an emergency,” he added. What may take three minutes may seem more like fifteen minutes to some in an emergency, making it safer for residents and paramedics.
The City of Dunwoody paid the initial cost of $100,000 developing the CAD-to-CAD Interface system. In the MOU agreement, the City of Brookhaven agreed to pay $50,000 to the City of Dunwoody for system connection, along with 50% of any future costs for maintenance or change in the interface system. The monies were allocated through 911 fees and the general services funds.