Sheriff’s office updating computers

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Mower County Sheriff’s Office is revving up to update its computers in squad cars.

The county board unanimously passed a budget amendment Tuesday for the Mower County Sheriff’s Office to spend about $20,000 to replace 13 outdated toughbook computers in squad cars after the current, 6-year-old units stopped working.

“This was an unforeseen issue that came about with our new software,” Sheriff Terese Amazi told the board during Tuesday’s regular meeting.

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The county will buy refurbished units at about $1,300 a piece, cheaper than new units, which cost about $2,700.

The current units could no longer be updated to work with new technology. The typical lifespan is about five years, according to Amazi.

With the updated units, Amazi said deputies will be able to file tickets electronically, similar to the e-charges the office has done for about a year. E-tickets shouldn’t mean much to a typical resident pulled over for speeding, but Amazi said it saves her office paperwork. When a suspect is in custody, deputies can also complete pre-booking with the jail, as all the systems are integrated throughout the computer.

Toughbooks also allow deputies to pull up people’s license records electronically and access dispatch calls, along with other data.

The Austin Police Department is also replacing equipment.

The county also approved a $3,315 purchase of exercise equipment at the jail, which will be paid through an inmate fund.

“It’s not taxpayer dollars to do this,” County Coordinator Craig Oscarson told the board.