Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Supervisor Pitts wants consultant to review emergency communications
Supervisor Benjamin Pitts asked county staff to hire a consultant to tell them what, if any, improvements that need to be made to the emergency communications center. He asked that a request for $466,000 to enhance the current system be delayed until the consultant completes the review.
Pitts referenced this article and said he was concerned that Stafford’s system cannot connect with the county’s system.
Pitts said he emailed County Administrator Doug Barnes on Sept. 7 expressing his disappointment. He also cited the county’s internal review of a Feb. 5 fatal fire that said numerous times that the Computer Aided Dispatch system was very slow at times.
Barnes said the county has $50,000 in carryover funds to hire a consultant.
“I have not seen a report from the sheriff that our present emergency communications needs any upgrades,” Pitts said. “I think we would be on the wrong track if we spend this half million dollars before this board hires an outside consultant to tell us what we really need.”
In interviews with Sheriff Howard Smith, he has said that there are no serious emergency problems with the CAD system. He said if the CAD is slow, dispatchers can use pen and paper to write down important information, which is what they used to do.
Pitts said he spoke with the sheriff and got the “impression” that the money did not need to be spent immediately.
Supervisors unanimously approved Pitts’ motion for the EOC review.