IN: New Bus Station, Dispatch Center Almost Ready

June 06--Within the next month or so, Bloomington could have a new dispatch center and bus transfer station up and running.

Bloomington Police Chief Mike Diekhoff said there's no exact date, but the new building is near completion on the corner of Third and Walnut streets that will house the new 911 dispatch center on the second floor.

"We're looking at hopefully being in and going live probably early July," Diekhoff said.

The new equipment and software is in the process of being delivered and installed, but dispatchers will not wait for the new Computer-Aided Dispatch/Records Management System, or CAD system, to be ready to go live before moving into their new digs.

Diekhoff said they'll operate on the old system and once training is complete and the new software is ready, the switch will occur. It's expected that will happen in late summer or early fall.

"It will allow us time to get settled," Diekhoff said.

When the software does switch, there will not be disruption in services, according to Diekhoff.

"We will be able to maintain and operate off of both systems at the same time," Diekhoff said. "We will keep the current system live while we are moving into the new system."

Training on the new CAD system, which will be the biggest change for employees, will start this month and continue throughout the summer. The current system is more than 10 years old. The new CAD system will allow dispatchers to provide information to officers regarding past arrests, number of previous responses to a residence and send information to responding units without having to call it over the radio.

And when it's time for dispatchers to physically move to the new building, Diekhoff said it's likely they will have one shift end at the old location inside the police department and move next door into the new building for the next shift.

An opening date for the bus transfer station also hasn't be finalized, according to Bloomington Transit General Manager Lew May.

"We're still looking for good weather over these last few weeks here," May said. "It's taken a little bit longer than we expected."

Early timeline estimates predicted that buses would be operating from the new location this spring, but delays -- mostly weather-related -- have pushed that back.

May said about half of the concrete driveways have been poured, but there's still more to go, in addition to sidewalks, bike racks, benches, lockers and installing public art. There's also still some paint and drywall work to be done inside the building, which will serve bus riders on the first floor.

"It's coming together quite nicely," May said.

Copyright 2014 - Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind.

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