Management Information Systems
In San Jose, California has the smallest officer-to-resident ratio that is one police officer for 925 residents (Oz, 2009, P. 190). However this city is considered one of the safest larger cities in the US (Oz, 2009, P. 190). This implied that the city offices were efficient and productive and were using the right and better technology and software tools to manage city police, fire communications and dispatching functions.
“The Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system is a highly specialized application that is designed to facilitate coordinated communication, assignment and tracking of Police and Fire Department resources in response to calls-for service.” (Michael, A. Smith .2004-2005, Santa Clara County Civil Grand jury report) In 2004 City replaced all text based CAD system with new Windows based touch screen system by spending $4.7 million (Oz, 2009, P. 190).
However the new CAD system was plagued with problems such as non-user friendly user interface, software bugs, user issues of adapting to new technology, inadequacy of user training, increased difficulty in issuing the Code 99 commands, patrol officers needing longer time to find out whether a person they have stopped has a violent criminal and system crash just two days after the system went live.
According to the case study and the Santa Clara County Civil Grand jury report none of the above issue (that cause the failure of the new CAD system) were due to hardware but majority of them were directly related to the application software and the design of the system.
(E.g. code 99 command issue, system crash, non-user friendly interface etc.) The other major issue was relating to the lack of user involvement during software design, implementation and inadequacy of user training. That is why Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury recommended that in future IT project developments City of San Jose management should mandate that representatives from all levels affected by the IT project be included in every stage of specification, development and deployment. (Michael, A. Smith .2004-2005, Santa Clara County Civil Grand jury report) References;
Oz, E. (2009). Management Information Systems. Boston, MA: Course Technology Cengage Learning Michael, A. Smith (2004-2005) Santa Clara County Civil Grand jury report, retrieved from: http://www.911dispatch.com/info/cad/rfp/sj_cad_invest.pdf