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Lafayette 911 upgrades to cloud-based, ‘more efficient’ dispatch system

19 March 2019   •   2 minute read

The Lafayette Parish Communication District, which handles emergency calls for the area, announced Tuesday it is upgrading to a cloud-based, computer-aided dispatch.

Lafayette 911, the Lafayette Police Department, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Acadian Ambulance Service, the Lafayette Fire Department and volunteer fire departments in the parish will use the new system, Mark43.

Because the system is cloud-based rather than tied to a server, it means the CAD system can be updated without a technician having to come directly to the server. In an emergency, all the CAD system needs to operate is Internet access, which is one of the main reasons Lafayette 911 chose Mark43.

“When we looked into the advantages of a cloud-based CAD system, we saw the flexibility of the system,” said Craig Stansbury, the director of Lafayette 911 and Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. “Plus the system does not use servers, which means if something happened to the building or the area, this CAD could be up and running at any other location that could connect to the cloud.”

While Lafayette 911 is purchasing the new system, all of the emergency responders who use the CAD tested potential vendors. Mark43 received the top marks, which made the decision to switch that much easier, Stansbury said.

Mark43, a tech company that builds software for law enforcement and public safety, is based in New York. It started about six years ago. Its CAD system and management software are used in about 60 cities nationwide and there are plans to double that in near future, said Matthew Polega, co-founder and vice president of operations.

“It’s available everywhere and it’s exciting because any number of departments can use it at the same time,” Polega said. “It gives a lot of different agencies visibility.”

For the community, the change will mean a more adept system for getting first responders to emergencies.

“We believe it will be a more efficient Lafayette 911, a more efficient way to get information,” he said. “Having a robust and state-of-the-art CAD would definitely help us get (the community) the help they needed.”