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Law enforcement server plan reached
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MONROE - Members of the Spillman System Oversight Board say they are satisfied with the plan now in place to move the data server for multiple public safety agencies in the county from Pleasant View Complex to the city's police department downtown.

The city's plan to move the system by the end of the year, approved June 6 by the Public Safety Committee, had raised concerns from the county. County board chairman Art Carter, a member of the oversight committee, said the county needed physical access to the server to keep county maps updated.

The mapping system is important to fire department personnel dispatched to emergency calls, especially in the rural areas, said Lane Heins, Monroe Fire Department deputy chief.

On Thursday, Sheriff Jeff Skatrud reported new mapping software and a separate server will be located at the sheriff's department. The county has the server in its budget for next year.

How to connect the Sheriff's department and the city police department to the Spillman server was also settled Thursday.

Job Jacobson, administrator of the Spillman System, said connecting the two entities via TDS lines would cost each about $675 a year, and interrupted service would be negligible.

The hard-line connection will eliminate weather-related interruptions experienced by the current satellite dishes.

"If we want reliability for Spillman, hard line is the way to go," Carter said.

The board will retain the satellite dishes, moving one from Pleasant View to the Sheriff's department, for a backup connection.

Coordinating all of the changes, moves and upgrades has Jacobson unwilling to set a specific end date for the project.

The IT Committee must first approve the hard-line access and its cost.

Hooking up to the hard line could take 60-90 days, Jacobson said.

The Sheriff's Department will have one employee in training for the mapping software and will be converting the mapping data to its server, starting in August.

The satellite dishes will not be moved until after the hard line is accessible.

And then, the Spillman System server will be moved from Pleasant View, with a minimal amount of downtime.

Jacobson hopes some of the Spillman rearrangement will coincided with other communication upgrades going on throughout the city's public services departments this fall, to save a little time and money.

The Spillman system is used by more than a dozen public safety agencies - law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services - in the county.

The server provides storage and retrieval of law enforcement records, computer-aided dispatch and mobile communication, as well as electronic accident and citation reporting as required by the Department of Justice and Office of Justice Assistance.

Its ability to handle multiple software applications allows agencies to share the server and exchange data.