GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia Sheriff’s Office will be using a new form of software to manage its vehicle fleet in an attempt to be “good stewards” of county resources, said Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin Thursday, after Gallia Commissioners approved measures to move forward in adopting the program.
“This thing is kind of multifaceted,” said Champlin. “It’s called a fleet management system. It is GPS-based but also has the features that help protect our assets in such a way that it can read each vehicle’s internal computer system. Essentially, if we have a vehicle that’s having a malfunction, especially one detrimental to the health of the car, it will automatically read that code like a mechanic can read a code and will text message us those codes.”
The feature, according to the sheriff, should allow law enforcement administration to more quickly diagnose issues with fleet vehicles in real-time.
“We put a lot of money and a lot of equipment in these vehicles and we want to make sure we’re being good stewards of those assets for a relatively low cost to the county to be stewards of equipment the citizens are paying for,” said Champlin.
The system also allows the Gallia 911 Center the ability to look at a map when receiving a call for service and decide what patrolling officer is the closest to respond to a call.
“We feel it’s a good officer safety tool because our guys are all over the county all the time,” said Champlin. “Dispatch checks up on them periodically but there’s sometimes an officer may not hear a radio or be in a spot in the county that may not have good radio coverage. This gives a dispatcher (the ability) to look at the map and see where the officer is to check and make sure he’s okay.”
“We’re doing some further talks with Verizon,” said Champlin. “We’re researching other devices and avenues to try and get the technology into our cars that we want. Our first priority is public safety and officer safety. The ability to cut down the dispatch time from two minutes to get a call out to 15 seconds, that greatly increases the safety of our public to get our officers there. This started as an all-inclusive package, but they (the company) were running a special on this technology right now for fleet management so we were in a window for their promotion and we had to get it done by the end of this month. So we kind of fast tracked this to save several thousand dollars worth of equipment cost.”
The technology utilized in the sheriff’s vehicles is reportedly also going to be extended to the Gallia EMS ambulances as well.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.