The Andalusia Police Department dispatchers have been learning to use new software that could make response times a lot faster, Chief Paul Hudson said.
“We got a new software from Southern Software,” Hudson said. “Representatives from Southern Software have been here over the past couple of weeks and will be here till Thursday to make sure everything is OK.”
The software makes it possible to simultaneously listen to a caller, see the caller’s location on a map, and determine which officer could respond the quickest, based on the officer’s current location.
“I think my favorite part of the software is the mapping system,” Hudson said. “Because if something happens to an officer we can pull where they are on the map and be able to get officers out there.”
APD Dispatcher Tabitha Cross is among the dispatchers participating in training.
“I think the main thing that I have had trouble with is learning something new,” Cross said. “Other than that it has been a breeze.”
The employees from Southern Software will be at the police department to make sure there are no bugs in the software.
“When you get technology like this it is always good to make sure everything is perfect before you let the experts go,” Hudson said. “They are here to make sure that there are no bugs in the software and that all of our employees are trained appropriately.”
Hudson said that no one in the county has the technology that the APD now has.
“I am extremely excited to have this opportunity,” Hudson said. “The city will definitely see the benefits of this software soon and I am excited to share this capability with the rest of the county.”
The Covington County Commission approved for the sheriff’s department to acquire similar software, but they will be upgrading their existing contract with Global Software.
The E-911 Department is also looking at similar software.
Part of the funding for the software came from an ADECA grant. The cost of the software was $63,640, and the grant cut that cost by $24,000.
Southern Software is a company out of North Carolina dedicated to building the best software using proven cutting-edge technology, developed with an intimate, personal understanding of their clients’ needs. They set up and train the clients’ personnel about the software.