BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
MONTROSE – Lee County Supervisors heard a brief update on a program to put computers in patrol cars beginning in July.
At the Tuesday workshop following the regular Lee County Board meeting, Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber updated the board on a proposal that was in the department’s 2018-19 budget to outfit 10 deputy patrol cars with new computers.
“What we want is to out fit the 10 patrol deputies with computers in their cars. We’d like to have an 11th, because computers are one of those things that can just quit without any warning, so we’d like to have an extra. An outright purchase isn’t something we thought we can just do, so we looked at a lease agreement.”
Weber said the department originally looked at a 3-year lease, but would be open to a 5-year lease to drop the payments down a little, but said interest on the agreement would be a little higher.
Lee County Chief Deputy Will Conlee told supervisors the computers, which most of the rest of the state already have, would save time for deputies, staff, and residents. He said tickets would be an issue of a scan of a driver’s license and registration and the citation would be printed out immediately. The citation or accident report would also go directly into the county system which would save staff time entering the records into the system.
Weer said he expected the systems to last 10 years and are functional up to -40 degrees below zero, and are built to be in squad cars.
The lease agreement would be all inclusive with installation and maintenance included. At the end of the lease, the department would have the option to purchase the equipment at what Weber called “fair market value”.
“They’ll even pick our cars up to install them, we don’t even have to do that. If there’s a problem with one, they come down,” he said. “It’s all part of the agreement. That’s part of the reason why I wanted to get the 11th one so they can pick up the one that doesn’t work and we can go on.”
Lee County Auditor Denise Fraise said the issue would have to put up for a public hearing because it’s a non-current budget year purchase and spans more than one year. The supervisors could then approve the lease agreement following the public hearing.
The systems would require some training and other scheduled issues to get the computers in, but those trainings would be done locally.