BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Lee County Sheriff was given the nod by Lee County Supervisors Tuesday morning to go ahead with plans to equip vehicles with on-board computers that will help streamline deputy processing going forward.
At Tuesday’s regular meeting a quick public hearing was held and Supervisor Ron Fedler said he had heard from a few county residents and that was why he suggested the board go out for bids on the computers.
The original resolution passed by the supervisors in March was set not to exceed $133,934 over five years, but the bidding process and some negotiations on the part of the department resulted in a 3-year deal for $72,500, which includes hardware, software, mounting, peripheral wiring and maintenance and service, from an upfitting firm called Keltek. After the three-year deal, the county will have the option of purchasing the equipment at fair market value.
Chief Deputy Will Conlee, who’s spearheaded the project said he hopes to have all the cars upgraded in August.
“Keltek has held August open for us so I hope to have all the cars done that month,” Conlee said. “Then will need to state to come down and get the deputies certified with the National Crime Information Center, a Federal Bureau of Investigation database.
Sheriff’ Stacy Weber said all the road deputies, and most likely the department’s two detectives will have to be trained on using the systems.
The contract calls for 11 systems, one of which will be kept as a spare so that in the event a unit requires service, the spare can be put into duty. In the meantime, Weber said the detectives may have access to the spare unit.
“We will keep one as a spare, but that will probably go into the hands of the detectives and will put them through the same training,” he said.
The units will streamline accident reports and moving violations and other tasks that had been manually entered saving deputies and administrative staff time because the networks will be connected. Accident reports will now be able to be printed from the deputy’s cruisers and information from accidents and violations will be automatically uploaded to the department’s central computers without having to be manually entered.
In other action, the board voted;
• 5-0 to replace a clerk the County Recorders office
• 5-0 to approve a fireworks display permit for the Glasscock and Brotherton Family
• 5-0 to appoint Kevin Stuekerjuergen to the county Labor/Management Committee
• 5-0 to approve a service agreement with the Iowa State Association of Counties for the county’s HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)