Client Success Story: City of Gahanna, Ohio
MCP drives Ohio City's 911 call-handling system to completion Background:
The Gahanna Division of Police and the Metropolitan Emergency Communications Center (MECC) began collaborating on delivering emergency services more than a decade ago to accomplish economic and operational gains. After realizing success early on, they pursued a shared facility that could accommodate their similar needs.
A key element of Gahanna and MECC's transition to a shared emergency communications center was implementing a new 911 call-handling system. The project hit a significant speed bump in 2020, and the city needed to find an expert to move it in the right direction.
A call-handling system implementation project hit a significant speed bump because of several factors, threatening the go-live of the new emergency communications center.
Gahanna officials engaged Mission Critical Partners to provide project management support, including implementation and testing, vendor oversight, and IT services.
MCP helped ensure the transition to the new system was seamless. The support of MCP’s experts helped shave nine days off of the project timeline.
Technology Implementation Challenges
The technology at the Gahanna Division of Police’s 911 operations center was beyond its life, and its partner agency, the Metropolitan Emergency Communications Center (MECC), faced a similar challenge. Both centers had communications equipment aging rapidly and needed to be upgraded or replaced. Given that new technology is costly, a regional collaboration made economic and operational sense. The two organizations purchased a new building where they would co-locate. The project stalled when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived. One significant initiative threatened a hard go-live deadline—implementing a new call-handling system. “The project quickly became daunting. We had a great team and a lot of smart people in the room, but they didn’t have all of the answers,” Jeff Spence, chief of the Gahanna Division of Police, says. “We needed to find someone who did.”
MCP Turns Things Around
Spence received a recommendation to engage Mission Critical Partners. The city hired the firm to get the project back on the rails, moving in the right direction, and streaking toward an on-time conclusion. MCP provided project management and implementation oversight. Within two weeks, it was apparent that the decision was the right one.
Vendor and Testing Oversight
Vendor and testing oversight were also part of MCP's implementation support. MCP’s influence was felt in numerous ways, such as getting the vendor back on track without any friction. MCP also provided a steady hand and guidance needed to get the internal IT staff members to complete the implementation. They also supported the testing required to ensure the new call-handling system aligned with the established technical specifications and the procurement contract terms. “We had heard all of the horror stories, of the utter chaos that often ensues when a new system goes live,” Spence says. “So, we were all standing around waiting for something terrible to happen — and it never did. It was anticlimactic, completely uneventful when we flipped the switch — it just worked.
A Seamless Transition, Earlier Than Expected
Gahanna flipped the switch on December 6 — nine days before the deadline.
With the new ECC operational, Spence is already looking toward the future. He knows that with NG911 coming, computer-aided dispatch and records management systems will need upgrading or replacement — and MCP has been hired to guide those projects.