YEAGERTOWN - The Mifflin County Regional Police Department unveiled a new computer system, that is more secure and faster than the previous system.
Senior Officer Rob Haines took the board of directors during its regular monthly meeting to see the new computer server and to show the new programs that are helping them do their jobs more efficiently.
The new server is a Hewlett-Packard, which was bought last year and is serviced by a company called Link, out of Bellwood. Haines said that the backup system is currently using Chief Scott Mauery's computer, but that it is not adequate enough.
"Very few things are hard copy in the office. Everything is digital and if something happens to the backup here, everything could be lost," said Haines.
This prompted Board Chairman John E. McCullough to tell Haines that he needs to look into an alternative backup plan and look at the cost, for the board to discuss at a later date.
One of the new advantages of the system is that it is no longer running slow, everything that the officer sees is now in real-time. Haines also said that every officer has the same information which allows for more consistency in the department.
Haines said, "A big advantage we now have is the silent dispatch system. We can see what the dispatcher sees and also provide updates as they become available."
Haines also showed the board how secure the new system is by logging onto the the different programs, as himself and as an intern. The interns, or anyone who works there but is not an officer, do not have access to certain records, for example records of juveniles. Only officers have access to JNET, which is controlled by the state, and it is secured differently. JNET is secured by having a force out logout system. If there is no activity for 10 minutes, it logs the officer off. Mauery is the person who gives the different authorities in the programs.
Other programs are connected to the school system so that if something happens at the school, records can be updated and accessed remotely, from the school. The next phase of the computer project is to get three laptops to put in the police vehicles. The goal is to have the same programs on the laptops as the desktops, with the biggest one being the silent dispatch system.
Haines said, "Having the silent dispatch system in the cruisers will allow us to keep information off the scanners in cases where it would be detrimental to the investigation."
McCullough said the computers which would be special impact-resistant laptops known as a "Tuffbooks", cost $1,900 each, but they are worth the cost to assist the department.
The Mifflin County Regional Police Board of Directors meets the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m.