October 31, 2014

Board approves new computers for sheriff’s office

Posted

STANDISH — Thirteen new computers will be installed at the Arenac County Sheriff’s Office, after the board of commissioners approved the purchase Dec. 3.

Two new computers had previously been approved for purchase, and the board approved buying 11 new ones during the meeting, according to board Chairman Robert Luce.

County Treasurer Dennis Stawowy said the new computers were included in the 2013 technology budget.

“There’s $37,000 left for them this year, which they had budgeted to buy equipment and set it all up,” he said.

Stawowy said the board has been attempting to update the county’s computers year-to-year.

“They also put some new computers in circuit court,” he said. “It’s a targeted kind of thing. My office got one new computer this year, and got one new computer last year.”

Luce said with the rapidly changing pace of technology, updating computers can seem like an endless process.

“It’s almost like painting the Mackinac Bridge,” he said. “Once they get done with it, they have to start all over again.”

The new computers are Dell desktops, Stawowy said. They will be purchased through a state program for local units of government, he said.

At the board’s Dec. 3 meeting, commissioners said the computers, plus installation and setup, would cost about $1,000 apiece.

Undersheriff Don McIntyre said new computers were badly needed for the sheriff’s office.

“Our computers have to be close to 10 years old now,” he said. “They’re telling us that our machines now are outdated, and that’s the cause of many of our problems we have here.”

Computers are used to report crimes to the state, book inmates, write police reports and record fingerprints, McIntyre said. The software for those functions has been updated several times, but the computers have not, and that has caused some issues, he said.

“We have compatibility issues with a lot of the software that we need to run because our computers are so old,’ he said.

Short-term fixes have been employed by the office, but McIntyre said the old computers were becoming very time consuming for police officers.

“There have been some problems that are basic, but the speed of the machine is so slow that it adds triple the work time for deputies,” he said. “Computers will lock up in the middle of something and then they have to restart them and start over.”

Sheriff Jim Mosciski told the Independent Dec. 5 that expects the computers to be delivered and installed within the next three weeks.

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