Law enforcement radios and equipment were primary topics for the Boone County Commissioners during their meeting Tuesday morning, May 28.
Sheriff Denny Johnson brought proposals for upgrading the law enforcement computer system, primarily due to a recent announcement that the state will no longer be supporting Windows 7 software. All of the state’s law enforcement will be upgrading to Windows 10 software.
Johnson brought proposals from Applied Connective Technologies to replace a desktop computer and a laptop, and to download Windows 10 on two other computers. The total cost estimate was $2,921.
Johnson explained that all law enforcement will be mandated to have in-car computers with printers in the future, and this laptop purchase would be suitable for in-car use. He noted that two other computers in the law enforcement building had been replaced using 911 Wireless funds.
The commissioners approved purchase of the new computers and upgrades.
Also approved was a request to purchase a bullet proof vest for the Sheriff’s Department at $855.
Sheriff Johnson then discussed the possibility that Boone County could become part of the Nebraska Statewide Radio System (SRS).
Tests have been conducted on the new digital mobile and portable radios that would be required for this system. Johnson said the mobile (in-car) radios worked well, but the portable (on-person) radios “did not work as well as I would have liked.”
The SRS proposal would include replacement of the two older dispatch consoles in the Sheriff’s office, as well as all mobile and portable radios. Total cost estimate was $318,107, and a decision on the communications equipment is due by July 22.
The county’s current dispatch consoles date back to the late 1990s and would not be compatible with SRS, Johnson said.
The sheriff said he is concerned about the cost, but “I don’t know about our radio coverage if we don’t go with SRS.”
Complete story in the May 28 Albion News, Petersburg Press and St. Edward Advance.