TrackTik – new incident management software debuts
March 11, 2021
Yale Public Safety recently rolled out a new incident management system, TrackTik, used by the Central Alarm Station (CAS) team. The new software allows dispatchers to compile, store data, run reports, and send job workflows to security officers out in the field equipped with smart phones. Also, it allows management the ability to better track calls, reduces manual tasks, supplies real-time data, and improves customer service.
In the past, when a student or staff member called for a walking escort or lockout service, the dispatcher would contact and provide instructions to a security officer via a two-way radio. Now, all Yale’s security officers will be assigned a Sonim cell phone programmed with TrackTik and other apps, enabling them to get calls, emergency alerts, fill out timecards, and access department policies and procedures. An ultra-rugged smartphone, the Sonim was built for severe conditions and is perfect for the officers ‑‑ who are outside during their shifts in all types of weather.
Dispatchers have a desktop version of TrackTik. The system lists categories of dispatches including, lockouts, transports, building checks, and walking escort services. It also features subcategories, for instance, if the lockout is a student or staff member or the type of emergency—medical or building.
To set up the new system, a lot of manual work was needed. It required inputting all of Yale’s buildings and addresses and Security Operation’s campus zones and sub-zones into TrackTik. Yale Security officers are assigned to a specific zone (e.g., Yale’s athletic fields) or subzone (the Yale Health building). Yale Security managers spent several weeks entering all of this data.
When the first batch of phones arrived, they had to be programmed with the TrackTik app, Outlook for email, Telestaff for timekeeping, the DoubleMap transit app, and the Public Safety information network app, to name just a few. Next, a field test was done with half a dozen security guards to work out the kinks. In January 2021, Security Operations began issuing cell phones and providing training to about 30 officers. “In the beginning, it was a lot of work to get the system and phones programmed. Once we did the live test and started issuing phones to officers, it’s been a great experience all around,” said Lisette Delgado, Yale Security Communications Security Manager.
How it works
A student, staff, or faculty member calls the CAS; the dispatcher verifies their NetID, location, and what help is needed. Within seconds, the dispatcher can see which officer is closest, their distance to the person/building, and an estimated arrival time. If that officer is on another call, the system provides information on the next closest officer available. Next, the officer gets an alert on their phone; the notification provides all the necessary information to respond. While the officer is responding to that call, the dispatcher can see the action in real-time. If the person, waiting for help calls, the dispatcher can provide them specific information on when someone will arrive. When the call is completed, the officer in the field indicates that the phone and the case are closed via the phone.
On the back end, managers can run reports and even manage their team remotely because of their phones’ GPS feature. These reports provide information like how long specific tasks take, how many building checks were done that month, and/or comments the officers may have logged into the system about a particular call.
Lisette Delgado, Communications Security Manager, is part of the team implementing this new system. She manages the CAS its people, systems, and hardware. “I feel with TrackTik we are providing our staff with the proper tools to do their job. So far, the system has proved very user-friendly for the dispatchers and officers; we are pretty excited about it” said Lisette.
Special thanks to all those who worked on this project:
- Lisette Delgado, Communications Security Manager
- Reggie Chavis, Security Operations Training Manager
- Richard Nucci, Security Operations Manager