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New Software for Emergency Responders Coming to Newton County - KOAM TV 7

New Software for Emergency Responders Coming to Newton County

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NEOSHO, MISSOURI -

Newton County prepares to upgrade its emergency dispatch software that's designed for more efficiency and safety.  Newton County agencies have agreed to take part in this county-wide project. with the bulk of the software being installed at the Newton County dispatch building in Neosho.

Software aimed at being more safety aware.

"Our system is dated," says Newton County Sheriff Chris Jennings.

"We've had the current system for 17 years," says Chancy Huntzinger, head of the Newton County dispatch.

"Yeah, we've gotten behind," says Jennings.

Newton County's dispatch center handles calls for five police departments, plus the Newton County Sheriff's Office.  Consider this scenario:  An officer in Neosho just met someone who got into a violent altercation with law enforcement in Seneca.  Right now, that Neosho officer would need to go out of his way to make sure he's safe.

"There's no way to know, unless they just ask.  Unless they say, 'Dispatch, can you check with Seneca and see, or check with global records and see?'," says Huntzinger. 

But soon, law enforcement in Newton County will have access in their vehicles to one, more accessible database.

Police and deputies will soon be able to download a special app to their smartphones.

"If they were to leave their vehicle, we can track their smartphone.  So, if they were to get in a foot pursuit, we can track their smartphones," says Huntzinger.

This new technology will also help stop pursuits more efficiently, when crossing into Joplin and parts of Jasper County.  Dispatchers there already use this technology on their computers.

"Instead of us trying to relay everything over the phone or radio, it'll be automatically in front of them," says Jennings.

All of this technology centers around making sure keeping emergency responders safe never gets outdated.

This new software will also be available to Newton County's 10 fire departments, plus the Newton County Ambulance District.  Each emergency agency is contributing to the total $$495,000 start-up cost.  The agencies will then continue paying towards the yearly $38,000 fee to use this software.

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