A resolution was passed that authorized Rolla Mayor Louis Magdits to enter into an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement between the City of Rolla and the Phelps County Emergency Services Board as well as other agencies in Phelps County for the purchase and use of a new computer-aided dispatch and records management system.

After a search spanning two years, the Rolla Police Department along with the Phelps County Emergency Services Board (PCESB) and several agencies in Phelps County selected a new software system for dispatch and records management after the current system was identified as having frequent errors, an insufficient design and shortfalls on promised functionality that can create a liability on the 911 center.

The council approved the Rolla Police Department’s involvement in the purchase of the new system in December 2018, since the PCESB had already signed a purchase order for the new system software. The PCESB wanted to move forward with purchasing the software because transitioning over to a new system is an extensive process, said Rolla Police Chief Sean Fagan.

A formal Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement was then prepared, and the Rolla City Council passed a resolution authorizing Mayor Magdits to enter into the Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement on Jan. 7, 2019.

All participating agencies’ representatives are required to sign the formal cooperation agreement that confirms each agency’s financial commitment to the software purchase and outlines the procedure that will be utilized during the process of the county-wide implementation of the new system.

The PCESB — a Missouri political subdivision that provides central dispatching of fire protection, law enforcement, ambulance and other emergency services within Phelps County — will purchase, implement, and maintain the hardware and software required to operate a centralized, computer-aided emergency services dispatch and records management system.

The overall cost to all participating agencies for the system is $626,303, and each of the agencies expenditures was determined by the size of the agency and the number of calls each agency receives, said Fagan.

The cost share for the new software system also takes into account how many records each agency will transfer over to the new system.

“We are slightly higher than the county in this, so our share was a little bit higher,” said Fagan. “I think for the county, it was around $17,000, and for Rolla, it was about $25,000 just to add records for transferring.”

The budget appropriation for the Rolla Police Department’s portion of the new software system is $187,376, while the PCESB agreed to finance Rolla’s share of the purchase at 2 percent interest over five years, said Fagan.  

The Rolla Police Department currently has computers in the department’s vehicles — another reason the department has a higher expenditure compared to the county since the Rolla Police Department will have to pay for computer inspections and associated costs of writing reports and accessing reports directly from the computers, said Fagan.

An addition of mobile ticketing and barcode scanning for the Rolla Police Department’s evidence room added to the department’s shared cost as well.

“The county has computers in their car, but the computers they have in their cars, from talking to the Sheriff, they are going to take out because they don’t function properly. They are older and have been in the vehicles for several years,” said Fagan.

Next, a financing agreement will be brought back for the council’s approval that includes what the PCESB agreed to finance, said Rolla City Administrator John Butz, since the financing agreement is separate from the resolution that was passed.