This photo shows the Juneau Police Station in March 2020. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

This photo shows the Juneau Police Station in March 2020. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

JPD finishes update to computer system

“It was certainly time to replace.”

Juneau Police Department is nearing the end of a multi-year effort to update a decades-old computer system.

“JPD had used that legacy system since 1999 so we definitely got our money out of it. It was certainly time to replace,” said JPD public safety officer Erann Kalwara in an email.

JPD staff had a tentative completion date of Thursday, Sept. 22, however, repairs to these functions took longer than anticipated. According to Kalwara, the department’s previous vendor was no longer supporting updates, and all of the department’s applications have now been replaced by the Tyler Enterprises system.

“Our CAD system worked great for calls but would no longer print incidents, we could not comply with new federal crime reporting mandates and other small inconveniences were cropping up left and right,” Kalwara said. “We replaced our computer aided dispatch, mobile computing application for (police & fire), field based reporting (law enforcement), law enforcement records management system and mapping program for dispatch, police & fire.”

Kalwara stated that along with updates, the department is making improvements to mapping that will help dispatchers and responders locate calls for service. These improvements are being made in collaboration with JPD’s database specialist, IT staff, city IT staff and the city cartographer.

“We are rolling out big improvements to mapping,” Kalwara said. “We have better map resources now than we did a month ago but are still working to get data loaded and presented to our dispatchers and responders for use in mapping calls for service.”

Kalwara said that in the past the department reported Summary Uniform Crime Reporting to the state and FBI, but now are implementing the National Incident Based Reporting System. According to Kalwara, incident-based reporting was mandated by the Department of Justice and it affects JPD’s grant eligibility and crime reporting.

“We are now able to provide extra data fields in the manner required to comply with federal standards,” Kalwara wrote. “The new NIBRS data collection and submission process increases the amount of information we collect about crimes, incidents and the subjects involved in the situations. It has added steps for our police officers and records technicians but in the end, will provide a better picture of what we respond to.”

According to Kalwara, the project was a huge undertaking for the department that has been in progress for over the last two years. Additionally, Kalwara said that much credit is given to the department’s group of IT staff and Database Specialists for their ongoing work.

“From building servers, to setting up client machines, navigating integrations and configuring and then reconfiguring everything so it would work for end users, they gave it their all for the last 10 months,” Kalwara wrote. “We also had employees in other work units such as records, patrol, investigations, dispatch, community services and evidence that helped with configuration and took responsibility for training their peers. We deployed a train-the-trainer approach which was a bit daunting.”

Kalwara also said that while some things are still in the testing phase, the deployment of the department’s new system included integration with other systems such as 911, digital evidence management, DPS TraCS, Capital City Fire/Rescue fire station alerting, CCF/R records management and CCF/R Active 911 response programs.

“Some non-mission critical integrations are still in progress like Coplogic Online Reporting. We are in the testing phase and expect to get the webpage for online citizen submitted reports back up and running soon,” Kalwara wrote. “We appreciate the public’s patience while we determine how best to provide our ‘Daily Activity Bulletin.’ The bulletin has been published for the last 5 days. It will probably be a few months before the dust settles.”

The daily police blotter resumed publication in the Juneau Empire on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

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