Friday, June 4, 2010

A Little Insight Into The CAD System By An Anonymous Poster

I always find it humorous when people make comments about a Police Officer and a Police Sergeant having approved the CAD in DeKalb. What makes anyone think those two had any type of authority to make such a decision? We are talking about a multi-million dollar purchase with a multi-year maintenance contract.

Here is what really happened with the CAD in DeKalb...
The system RFP (Request for Proposal) was written by Ken Hamilton, then Director of the 911 Center. He had come over from the Information Systems Department when Thomas Brown was still the Director of Public Safety. This was a set up by Vernon Jones. Ken Hamilton came to the County after leaving Bell South. The RFP was basically a copy of the one used by Fulton County some years back. Fulton County uses the same CAD that DeKalb has now.

Prior to a selection being made, there was a committee made up of only DeKalb 911 personnel, headed up by Sandy Pendley (She was a 911 Shift Manager and is a niece to RT Burgess). They shopped around and checked out numerous CAD systems, including the one that several thought DeKalb should buy at the time, Intergraph. The committee chose InterAct Public Safety, the CAD that DeKalb has now. The breaks got put on the decision to move forward by then Deputy Chief Marinelli, after he was appointed to oversee the Ken Hamilton and the 911 Center. No decision for a CAD should be made solely by 911 personnel. Police, Fire and Sheriff personnel are users too.

The RFP then came out from Ken Hamilton's Office. The only say that police personnel got in the RFP was the functionality of the mobile client and NCIC.

Ken Hamilton was also selected to chair the official DeKalb selection committee. The selection committee is a function of the purchasing and procurement system and is put together for all large RFPs and bids. The true selection committee was comprised of Ken Hamilton from 911, Eric Wisherd from Police, a Battalion Chief from Fire, several personnel from the Department of Information Systems and several people from the CEO's Office (Vernon Jones crowd) and several people from unrelated departments that had nothing to do with CAD. There was also a Finance person involved and a Contracts Compliance person involved.

A little DeKalb history for you. Vernon Jones, former Bell South. Ken Hamilton, former Bell South. Joe Stone (Director of County Personnel), former Bell South. There are countless others that are former Bell South in ranking positions in DeKalb Government that were all part of the Vernon Jones regime.

The current Police and Fire HQ, former Bell South office buildings and purchased from Bell South.

InterAct CAD (CAD used by DeKalb), bid to DeKalb by Bell South.

A number of people on the selection committee were either former Bell South personnel or worked for former Bell South personnel.

Do you see a trend here?

Wisherd didn't make the decision.
Fritchey wasn't even involved. He worked on the radio system project.

The decision to go with the Interact CAD was made long before police or fire personnel could get involved. The only thing that could be done after the award of the CAD system was to try to make it work. To this day it doesn’t do what the users want. There is no doubt that there are problems. A lot of the problems stem from trying to make the CAD do things it wasn’t designed to do. DeKalb has tried to make the InterAct CAD something it is not and has suffered greatly as a result. Personally I think the CAD is designed for smaller agencies running on cellular cards with near limitless bandwidth. It’s certainly not designed to operate for an agency the size of DeKalb over radios that are slower than old dial up internet service.

There you have the details. It’s far deeper than any line level officer or supervisor could have accomplished.

For me, this is a story of one more corrupt thing that Vernon Jones rammed down the throats of the men and women out there trying to do the job. No one was going to stop him.


Anonymous said...

The week the CAD system went online the Interact people were awe struck, Dumbfounded. Jaw dropped. In the 1st 3 days over 75,000 (thousand !) calls came in. Interact people said (paraphrase) "we had no idea it would be like this". In talking to some of Interact's personnel they said they were used to departments with 75-100 field units & far less calls. The county's response....well this is what you have, now make it work.

Anonymous said...

I swear to God this is one more reason I hope Vernon Jones burns in hell. His ego caused him to act like "big man on campus", and his legacy will not only cost us for years to come, but probably has and will continue to have an impact on whether people live or die. (and by the way, this is only ONE example - O N E - and I know many of you know it, of the circumstances where he 'influence peddled'. God help us.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you for shedding some light on this situation for me. The question is now: What are we going to do about it?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the truth. I have always heard people blaming it on police personnel but they were just pawns in a corrupt scheme. I'm sure Vernon Jones' and Ken Hamilton's pockets got fat off of that deal. I'm not surprised, it's always about "what can you do for me".

Barry Woodward said...

Let me fix one thing in this statement. Ken Hamilton took over for me when I retired March 31, 2003. He was appointed to the position by then Chief Eddie Moody, and Deputy Director Margaret Schuelke. Thomas Brown was the Sheriff and had been for over 2 years at that time, and Public Safety had been disbanded.

Just thought I would set that straight.


Anonymous said...

Hey DeKalb Officers - word on the street is that you haven't been posting Ron Burgundy's quotes. What gives???

Andy Norris said...

I cant believe that DeKalb would not choose a company like Intergraph, a Tier 1 CAD supplier. Huntsville and Mobile in Alabama use them. In speaking with Mobile 911 Center yesterday, they have never had a unscheduled outage in 14 years.

Anonymous said...

It all traces back to Vernon Jones! All of you idiots who voted for him and supported his puppets over the years have no place complaining about the current state of the county!

Anonymous said...

Come on now! You are dealing in half truths again! I don't know why you are trying to protect Wisherd/Fritchey unless they are somehow involved with this blog, but there is a little more the public should know. Soon after the PATS and CAD systems went into use Fritchey/Wisherd up and quit the dept. Would you please remind everyone where these two went to work???

Wisherd/Fritchey have blood on their hands too as far as I am concerned and should be investigated along with the makers of the CAD/PATS systems. They single handedly had more involvement than any other police entity and left the dept high and dry to go work for the creators of the POS systems they left in place!!!

Anonymous said...

Intergraph bid on the CAD, but they came up front and said that it would take more than a year to implement.

Intergraph comes in for a minimum of 6 months just to observe the workflow and process to make sure they have a firm understanding of what they need to accomplish for the customer.

The time table set in DeKalb was to be implemented in about 6 months. I may be off a little on the time frame, but you get the picture.

There was an extensive project plan for the new Public Safety Buildings and the CAD. Facilities and Information Systems cut it by more than half at the demand of the CEOs office. There were alot of corners cut.

Also, Barry Woodward is correct in that Thomas Brown had already been appointed Sheriff. That was my mistake in the timeline of events. The end result was the same. Although Ken Hamilton was appointed by the Chief Moody, it was done at the direction of Vernon Jones. Vernon had his hands on every level of management.

The pawns, the police personnel and the CAD administration team in the 911 center, were left with trying to make a broken system work.

Give thanks to Debi Palmer, Darryl Scott, Chris Gibbs, Wanda Echols and Officer Wisherd for getting the system to function at the level it is at. It would be far worse otherwise and you would still have it regardless. They did everything they could do with what was dumped on them.

I do know this information was given to CEO Ellis. As there has been no development on this Public Safety mission critical issue, I have to assume it fell on deaf ears.

The fix is simply a replacement to a tier 1 level CAD. Install it as is, off the shelf with no insane modifications. The simple fix isnt so simple. There is no agency in the State that has a higher call volume than that of DeKalb. DeKalb deserves to have a properly sized CAD.

If Vernon wanted Public Safety in those buildings so bad, then they should have moved the Tiburon CAD over and done the replacement CAD correctly by taking the proper amount of time to do it right.

LoFlyer said...

I have worked extensively with Ken Hamilton after he came to DeKalb IT and he is a good guy. He is no friend of Vern's but found it effective to let people think that. That said, I have argued with Ken over bid contracts to small business because our costs nearly doubled. Ken took the position that it was OK for the county to pay signifigently more for the contracts to allow the little guys to get a break and grow their companies. I saw it go both ways, with some companies giving good service and pricing, to vendors that were incompetent and over-priced to one company that offered excellent service at blatant rip-off pricing. Ken Hamilton ditched the incompetent vendor and the next contract we got better pricing and good service.
Ken impressed me is a go-getter, he worked us like rented mules and would take us out to lunch and make our hard work feel appreciated. He was the best manager I ever had in DeKalb government. I grew some under Ken and he made me a better, more effective employee.
Ken was just as intimidated by Vernon as anyone, I know of one instance that Vernon told us to do something that we all knew was not in the best interests of the citizens, nothing illegal, just not the best solution and not cost-effective. We all looked at Ken in disbelief and he said something to the effect, "I know but those are our instructions from the CEO".
If Ken and the Telecom group had not been transferred to DKIT and Ken had been left in charge of 911, I think we would have seen much better results out of the Interactive(TM) CAD system. Ken did not believe in crappy systems especially for 911, the highest priority data application in the county.
Ken was forced to leave the county after a quadruple heart bypass. He wanted to come back but his doctor would not release him due to the high stress of his job.
What happened in the 911 CAD system was exactly what happened to the recorders court software. The bids were given to smaller companies with no expertise in the high volume of DeKalb county. Politics and favors from our elected and appointed officials.

Kinda sux, mates!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Barry, there are some honest people left. The people on this blog are all about speaking false info and making up things to stir up mess. I am glad I retired last year and got out because the sickening weasels that remain there after 30 plus years and work at center precinct are not worried about the advancement of the dept. They have no life, so they choose to tarnish everyone they can on the blog. The media and commisioners actually feel the blog is gospel. That is even more sickening. Its time for a shot. Stay safe boys.

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