Tasmania Police launches new ESCAD emergency dispatch system

NEW TECHNOLOGY: Police Minister Rene Hidding with Tasmania Police Sergeant Nikala Parsons at the Hobart dispatch centre. Picture: Michelle Wisbey
NEW TECHNOLOGY: Police Minister Rene Hidding with Tasmania Police Sergeant Nikala Parsons at the Hobart dispatch centre. Picture: Michelle Wisbey

A “prehistoric” emergency dispatch system has been replaced with new, nation-leading technology as Tasmania Police aims to reduce response times. 

On Wednesday, the $17 million Emergency Services Computer-Aided Dispatch program was rolled out at Tasmania Police’s dispatch centre. 

Assistant Commissioner Glenn Frame said the program would not only work to make communities safer, but also protect police officers.

Assistant Commissioner Frame said the previous system was now outdated, after it was first launched in 1989. 

“A lot of the incidents we go to are dynamic and with our officers having the most information they possibly can, they can make good operational decisions,” he said. 

“It’s about efficiency – it won’t reduce staff but what it will do is make the service delivery to the community safer and better.” 

Ambulance Tasmania will adopt the system on November 28 and the Tasmania Fire Service and State Emergency Service will transition early next year, after the busy summer fire season. 

Police Minister Rene Hidding said the new technology would allow police to respond to emergency situations faster and to work more collaboratively with other services, especially during large-scale events.  

“What used to be in place was almost prehistoric in terms of a dispatch system – it was very manual, it was very limited in its capacity,” Mr Hidding said. 

“It’s allowing management right around the state, to all three districts, to know exactly where all the assets are and how quickly they can be moved.”