LIVINGSTON -- With the help of some new technology, the Livingston Police Department's dispatch center is becoming a hub for crime response and prevention.
State and department officials approved the changes in June 2010, and final touches are still being done on the remodel, said Deanna Soria, director of professional services for the Livingston Police Department.
All the work was paid for with state dollars.
A wall was knocked out and a bathroom removed to allow for more space in the dispatch center, Soria said. The flooring was redone and furniture was also added, but most importantly, new tools are being installed to improve resident safety.
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Upgraded monitors have been installed and two 42-inch television screens will soon be linked to cameras at schools, showing live video -- technology that will hopefully deter crime while helping to catch offenders.
Councilman Gurpal Samra said the timing couldn't be better since the city was recently awarded a Safe Schools grant for about $160,000. Much of the money will go toward adding cameras to schools.
City campuses already have cameras, Samra noted, but recent expansions have left some areas without video coverage. With the newly retrofitted dispatch center, authorities can keep closer tabs on schools, he said.
The dispatch center is also getting an upgraded 911 system and a GPS clock that keeps all servers linked on the same time, which can be helpful when pulling information for investigations, Soria said. "It's going to be great," she said. "It's important to keep everything accurate."
The new 911 system will use integrated mapping to immediately show the locations of calls that come in. The new system is also expected to streamline the process for dispatchers, and is slated to be installed by December.
Funding came from the California 911 Emergency Communications Office. The work totaled about $132,000, and could only be used toward dispatch-related improvements.
Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.