County law enforcement look to combine data, storage

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     During the latest Monticello City Council meeting on June 5, Police Chief Britt Smith gave the council an update on upcoming technology upgrades affecting the Monticello and Anamosa police departments, as well as the Jones County Sheriff’s Office.

     This will involve two computer system updates over the course of the next several months.

     Smith said in a letter to the council that five years ago, he requested an upgrade to the MPD’s records management system. This involved updating the department’s system that was over 15 years old to a “more current web-based system with onsite data storage” as well as a 500gb (gigabyte) hard drive for data storage. This program, called Tac10, allowed police officers “to complete their daily documentation in the field from their mobile computers,” explained Smith. It also allowed the MPD access to electronic records.

     Since the MPD transitioned to Tac10, the Sheriff’s Office and APD have come on board as well.

     The MPD’s Tac10 data served is four years old, with a five-year life expectancy in terms of data storage.

     “It’s at 80 percent capacity,” said Smith, “and we have yet to reach our data purging requirements.”

     He said this means they might only have four to six months of storage capacity remaining.

     “Action is needed to ensure appropriate storage space.”

     During the Sheriff’s Department’s upgrades with the new Dispatch Center within the courthouse, they purchased a 64TB (terabyte) server. Smith said that’s equivalent to 128 of the MPD’s current data storage space.

     During the first phase of the technology upgrade, Smith said the plan is to combine all three of the law enforcement agencies’ data into the county server. This would dramatically reduce the need for new equipment purchases for the MPD. This task would cost $8,100. Smith said Sheriff Greg Graver has agreed to cover $3,500 of the cost, leaving $4,600. Smith said his department has set-aside funds to cover the remaining fee.

     “We will no longer have reoccurring needs to replace our server equipment every five years at an expense of $3,000,” Smith explained.

     Combining the data would also allow all three agencies to access records and share information.

     The second phase would involve the purchase of a Tac10 mobile module. Smith said this “would allow officers to receive calls of service directly from the Jones County dispatchers.” He added this would also results in a more efficient transfer of information/data from agency to agency.

     The cost for phase two is $11,220. Again, Smith acknowledged that his department has the funds necessary to complete the project.

     “Therefore no additional General Fund money is being requested,” he concluded.


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