LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) — The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office is the first in Louisiana to use a new dispatcher tool, Next Generation 911 technology.

A digital, internet protocol (IP)-based system, known as Next Generation 911 is set to replace the analog 911 infrastructure that’s been in place for decades.

According to Livingston Parish Sheriff Officer 911 Director, Jack Varnado, he said Livingston Parish is the first in the state of Louisiana to use this new state-of-the-art technology.

The sheriff’s office posted a Facebook post online, introducing the new system to the public.

With the parish being the fastest-growing parish in the state, Varando said the sheriff’s office needed to keep up with the increasing number of residents and travelers.

“We needed to make sure that we had a system in place for the future,” said Varnado.

LPSO partnered with the neighboring parishes, East Baton Rouge and Terrebonne, to invest in the new system. With Livingston being the smallest of the three, officials decided that this new technology would be fit for Livingston to have more time learning the program.

“We are constantly learning more about this technology,” said Varando. “Almost something new every week since we’ve gotten it.”

The three parishes signed a seven-year contract, costing $1.5 million for the Next Generation 911 dispatch center.

The center will enhance emergency call services for faster, more precise locations, and a resilient system that allows voice, photos, and text messages to be received from the caller to the dispatcher.

“Make it easier on the dispatchers to get information in, take and process it and get the right resources to them that they need,” said Varnado.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, over the last three days, the parish had nine shootings with five individuals dead.

An East Baton Rouge EMS Spokesperson, Brad Harris said having this system will become crucial for their dispatchers.

“It will give us an exact location, of where you’re located” Harris added. “We won’t have trouble finding those patients.”

Officials say within the next five years, the Next Generation 911 technology will be widespread throughout the state of Louisiana.