The same company that helped Camden police upgrade their technology will now lead the Atlantic City Police Department out of its antiquated system.
TSG Solutions was awarded a $150,000 contract at last week's City Council meeting that will cover a year of work to help decide how to spend $3.5 million the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority awarded the city two years ago.
"We met with (TSG) today, and we're going to have some more preliminary meetings in a couple of weeks," said Deputy Chief Bill Mazur, who has been leading the work.
Then, they will put out what Mazur called "a very ambitious timeline" on what work will be done.
Restructuring the city's current records-management system and computer-assisted dispatch, which is how dispatchers log calls, "are paramount," he said. "That really is our foundation."
Offering a blueprint for Atlantic City will be the IJIS Report, a free analysis conducted by the nonprofit formerly known as the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute. Following that also means the city could be eligible for some grant relief, Mazur said.
"This is going to be a game-changer for the Atlantic City Police Department," said Deputy Chief Henry White, who heads up investigations. "The guys are excited about the opportunity to finally upgrade our technology infrastructure."
Also integrated will be Internal Affairs, allowing for better tracking of officers.
"When we talk about accountability, this is departmentwide," Mazur said.
The wish list for the department will be broken into three areas, with the top priority things that must get done.
Goals include cameras that allow police to see what's happening from their cars, a reporting system that will track officers' whereabouts through global positioning, and a system that quickly computes crime trends.
Police already have an idea of what the new system will look like. East Orange, where Councilman Marty Small led a trip of officials, has a fully computerized system that includes global positioning for police cars, and silent dispatching, a way to send officers to calls without going over the public radio.
"TSG did the Camden buildout that was derived from what East Orange did," said Tourism District Commander Tom Gilbert, pointing out that the upgraded system would also more easily link Atlantic City with outside agencies.
"They've already done it in New Jersey in a police department that almost mirrors ours," Mazur said of TSG.
The New York-based company also has worked in Atlantic City. They did all the surveillance camera work on the Tanger Outlets The Walk and are upgrading the Housing Authority cameras, including in Stanley Holmes Village.
Mazur said he's excited that the project is finally moving forward.
"It's about accountability from the top all the way down," he said. "It will take a look at where we're at, and tell us if we're operating efficiently. It's more accountability for our officer and making us as efficient as possible."
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