Part of the greater Seattle metro area, Pierce County is Washington’s second largest county with more than 876,000 residents. Despite its size, emergency services struggled to communicate. Police departments could not efficiently share information with each other or fire and rescue departments, which resulted in slower response times and decreased situational awareness. After Pierce County’s former dispatching and radio systems failed to meet expectations during several high-profile incidents, leaders were ready for a change.
As officials sought to improve their public safety communications systems, Pierce County went all-in on collaboration and formed South Sound 911, a new regional agency that provides 24-hour service for 911 call-taking, dispatching and records management.
South Sound 911 worked with Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial division to implement a new regional computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system configured to the needs of 41 public safety agencies. With the consolidated system, South Sound 911is improving the flow of information among call-takers, dispatchers and first responders across Pierce County.
Using smartphones, tablets and laptops, officers from different jurisdictions can now see what neighboring officers are doing, share data and assist each other during incidents. Mobile capabilities also enable police to complete reports in the field instead of the station, improving productivity and making officers more visible to the public.
Police and fire departments can seamlessly work together under the new shared system. The collaborative model also allows agencies to leverage richer data to improve essential services and become more proactive. By consolidating systems, vendors and maintenance contracts under Hexagon, South Sound 911 is saving taxpayers money and having a positive impact on the community.