While the Avtec Scout system was being deployed, the Loudon County team sprang into action and developed an immediate but less-than-optimal workaround. They leaned heavily on portable radios for a couple of days, while her expert in-house technician managed a speedy temporary fix of their previous consoles by salvaging components from a mobile response unit, restoring all seats for the time being. From there, they looked ahead with a sense of relief in anticipation of the new, future-proofed, long-term solution. Avtec’s Scout platform would provide redundancies not only for equipment but also for service and support to ensure no future storm of unexpected events would put them in this sort of bind again.
“It made us realize how much local service for our previous dispatch consoles had declined in our area,” White recalled.
“Naturally, that was a big concern.” With the new Scout platform, the center would also be simultaneously addressing growing interoperability issues, as neighboring local law enforcement agencies had begun ramping up the process of switching over to the TVRCS. The system is part of the three-zone Tennessee Advanced Communications Network (TACN) APCO P25 network. TVRCS covers more than a dozen counties in northern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee.
“Our previous dispatch console system would not interface with all radios, so if an officer pushed an emergency button we couldn’t see it,” White stated. “We had an officer shooting in the past where we had more than 30 agencies working on the event and didn’t have interoperability. We managed a workable solution, but that’s dangerous for officers. Being able to reliably share information in a timely fashion is absolutely critical at such moments.”
“We’ve had many conversations about how shocked we were at how simple the process was working with Avtec and CTS,” said White, who is also the former chair and a current member of Tennessee’s Emergency Communications Board, which oversees all 101 Emergency Communications Districts in the state. “In less than 5 weeks’ time we had the system built and ready to install. I’ve never seen turnaround like that.”