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Pennsylvania County Greenlights $2M Records Management Overhaul

Montgomery County Commissioners approved a more than $1.8 million contract to modernize and connect law enforcement records management systems across the region. Many of the 51 police departments in the county use different systems.

(TNS) — More than $1.8 million was approved Thursday to modernize and connect law enforcement records management systems across Montgomery County.

The $1.88 million agreement with CSI Technology Group, of Keasby, New Jersey, was unanimously authorized by Montgomery County Commissioners.

Montgomery County has 51 different police departments, which includes the Pennsylvania State Police, according to county District Attorney Kevin Steele, who addressed top Montgomery officials to stress the importance of this seven-figure contract as he noted that municipal police departments have their own systems manufactured by different vendor companies.

The contract covers "modifications to the existing laws enforcement system records management system to add on 17 additional police departments, including data conversion from police department existing systems."

The issues have been felt in the county seat, Steele said, with difficulties exchanging information between the county court and district attorney's offices, as they do not share a records management system.

"Because of the challenges that we have with this record management system in our law enforcement community in Montgomery County, we aren't able to access accurate current crime data regarding arrests, trends, charges, and things of the like," Steele said.

Posing a hypothetical question about statistics surrounding various charges or arrests, Steele reluctantly said, "I can't give you an accurate number on that, and that shouldn't be, because the public expects in 2024 we should be able to do that."

"This is moving us towards transparency, and I think that's something that we all seek in trying to make better decisions," Steele said.

Steele underscored the importance of the technology upgrade to fix a problem he said has been present for far too long.

"I just know that it's been probably the biggest challenge for us in our office, and I've been here since 1995," he said.

The initiative was supported unanimously by elected officials, who offered their own endorsements after Steele wrapped up his comments.

"Thank you for bringing a little light as to why this is so important," said county Commissioners' Chairwoman Jamila Winder. "But this is just an example of the types of investments that the county doesn't have to make, but is willing to make to ensure that all of our stakeholders that play a role in criminal justice have the tools that they need to be successful."

"Just the data sharing alone over time is going to be priceless," said Commissioner Tom DiBello, adding "there's so many pros to having this in place, and moving in this direction that you're going. I can't even see a downside."

When referencing the $1.8 million allocation, a county spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday that the "total" will depend "on the number of departments that choose to participate."

Steele noted that the county contract covering the initial onboarding lightens the financial load for municipalities as a way of "encouraging participation," but a county spokesperson said that municipal recipients will need to cover "recurring annual maintenance" costs. Those figures were not immediately available.

"The municipalities have invested a lot of money in these systems over time, and they work for them. So we're asking them to come to a new system," Steele said.

The roughly $1.8 million public safety contract was part of a 10-item package totaling more than $2.83 million that was unanimously approved during Thursday's meeting.

Of note, a $500,000 agreement with MXI Environmental Services LLC, of Abingdon, Virginia, covered "household hazardous waste collection events throughout the county" in 2024. The services were procured through a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture contract, according to the six-figure agreement.

A roughly $122,596 project management software contract with e- Builder Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, covered services required to "manage and analyze county capital projects."

In other business, county commissioners recognized upcoming Black History and Heart Health months in February. They also observed School Board Appreciation Month in January.

Both DiBello and Winder previously served on local school boards. Winder is a former member of the Norristown Area School Board, and DiBello, the Spring-Ford Area School Board.

Winder spotlighted the importance of the governing bodies and the impact they have on education. Norristown School Board's current president, Christopher Jaramillo, and board member Sharon Hale Mauch were in attendance during Thursday's meeting.

"I just want to take a moment to thank and honor the hard working members of school boards across Montgomery County," Winder said. "These school boards work tirelessly to support our kids and teachers. They're making very difficult budget decisions. they're tackling tough questions and most importantly they're working for the betterment of our children."

The next Montgomery County Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7 on the eighth floor of One Montgomery Plaza, 425 Swede St. Those interested in attending also can do so virtually. Visit for more information.

©2024 The Reporter, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.