The department will soon have access to an updated incident reporting system.
(TNS) — DOWAGIAC, Mich. — Though it may have taken a “winding road” to purchase it, members of the Dowagiac Police Department will soon get their hands on some new technology that promises to make the department’s incident reporting more efficient.
The Dowagiac City Council unanimously approved the purchase of $31,085 worth of computer software and data conversion services from Lansing’s CORE Technology for city law enforcement, during the council’s meeting Monday at city hall. The new incident reporting system will replace the department’s current program, which has been in place since 2003, according to Director of Public Safety Steven Grinnewald.
Nearly $25,000 of the purchase will go toward converting data from the old system to the new one, as well as for training officers on how to use the new software. Another $6,200 will cover the cost of the annual software subscription fee, which will ensure the city receives continual updates.
Dowagiac City Manager Kevin Anderson said that CORE Technology’s software offers a number of advantages over the department’s current system, which uses technology from New World Systems.
“[CORE Technology] is a web-based software, so our officers can use it to write reports and collect data while they are out on the streets and on site,” Anderson said. “Some of the basic data can get started by dispatch, and then it can be there for the officers as well, so we will gain some efficiencies that way.”
In addition, the annual maintenance fees for the software will be cheaper, with the current system costing the city around $10,000 each year to use. In addition, the servers containing the programming will be hosted off site by CORE Technology, with several redundant backups in place to ensure that the city’s data is secure.
Funding for the purchase will come from the city’s information services pool, a dedicated fund to cover the cost of maintaining computer and software needs across all city departments. The city has around $200,000 available in the funding pool right now, more than enough to cover the purchase and other future software needs, Anderson said.
Grinnewald said that the upgrade will take four to six months to implement.
The upgrade is around four years in the making, Anderson said.
The city was originally looking to switch out its police reporting software in 2013, along with the Pokagon Tribal Police Department and other Cass County law enforcement agencies. However, the vendor the group selected, Alert Public Safety, could not provide the services the departments required, with the project eventually fizzling out in early 2017.
CORE Technology software is currently used by more than 100 Michigan police departments, including the Edwardsburg/Ontwa Township Police Department. The vendor is currently in talks with the Cassopolis and Niles police departments, as well as the Berrien and Cass county sheriff’s offices, for its software, meaning Dowagiac police and Cass County deputies could more easily share data back and forth, Grinnewald said.
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