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Emergency Upgrade: Major funding announced for Duluth’s emergency call system

Emergency Upgrade: Major Funding Announced for Duluth's Emergency Call System
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 11:03 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - More than $1 million in federal money is heading to Duluth soon, most of it to improve the city’s 911 system.

Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced the funding on Monday.

It’s part of a recently signed appropriations bill and Duluth’s 911 system will receive $750,000.

According to Duluth Police Chief, Mike Tusken, the funding will allow Duluth PD to modernize its policing tactics.

He said the money will be used for three separate initiatives, which will incorporate new software into the DPD system.

The department will enhance its dispatch and case tracking with software called SPIDR-Tech.

Chief Tusken said the software will allow crime victims to track the progress of their cases by receiving computerized notifications.

The second initiative focuses on tracking law enforcement officers, keeping a record of their training, complaints, disciplinary actions, and more.

According to Chief Tusken, that software is called Benchmark Analytics and it’s an important investment in his workforce.

“It will track a lot of employee data. That is important for us to guide where we’re doing coaching, guiding, mentoring, and training of our employees. Investing heavily in our employees is going to allow us to deliver better customer service,” said Chief Tusken.

The third initiative will utilize software called Socrata, which will provide police with real-time analytics to monitor recent crime trends and tracking.

According to Tusken, the software will help his department effectively deploy police and maximize their efficiency in providing public safety.

Chief Tusken said some of the money will be spent on the subscription fees for these three software services, and an IT upgrade for everything to work.

In addition to the emergency call system funding, Duluth’s lift bridge also received money for infrastructure upgrades.

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