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Sheriff wants network upgrade to improve use of laptops in patrol cars

An upgrade to the sheriff’s department network would allow deputies to access better information faster when they are out in the field, according to a presentation made at the board of supervisors meeting Monday.

Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones introduced the supervisors to Andy Turnage of the Pileum Corporation. The company has recommended a network upgrade that will replace the current paper-based filing system with an electronic system that deputies can access in the field from their patrol cars. Only the most frequently used forms will be included in the system at first, but it can be expanded later if needed, Turnage explained.

The system will also allow deputies to fill out their paperwork from their patrol cars, saving man hours by keeping the deputies in the field longer.

Sheriff Jones pointed out that the laptops have already been purchased using money from the drug fund. The remaining network upgrade to put the laptops in service will cost about $59,000 – which includes hardware, setup, training, and a jail management system.

The items in the company’s proposal are at or below state contract prices, Jones told the board. He will use drug fund money to pay for anything that qualifies, and grant funds are also being pursued to cover the expense.

The board took no action Monday, but planned to review the proposal for further action at Thursday’s meeting.

In other business the board authorized the disbursement of $85,232.24 insurance rebate funds to the county volunteer fire departments.

A private lane off Old Natchez Road was named Old Natchez Lane and added to the road registry.

Emergency Management Director Randle Drane plans to apply for a $1 million grant to build a new emergency operations center. Drane explained that only $16 million will be available nationwide, so the chances of being awarded the grant are pretty slim. But emergency management officials hope that when the federal government sees the number of applications from departments who need upgraded facilities, more funds will be made available for the program in the future.

Changes to the radio frequencies for Wesson were authorized. Years ago the Wesson frequencies for transmitting and receiving were swapped, and bleed traffic from Simpson County (which has a nearby frequency) is a problem. It will cost about $7500 to reprogram the radios in all county departments, Drane estimated.

One bid was received for a new chiller and other equipment for the Chancery Court Complex. The bid was taken under advisement for the engineer’s review.

Quarterly budget allocations were approved as follows: reappraisal/maintenance $61,709; tax collector $63,256.50; sheriff administration $336,785; and jail management $232,716.50.

Payment to Hemphill Construction was authorized for $72,608.50 on the t-hangar project.

Progress payment to Huntington Lumber on the courthouse renovation was authorized for $136,620.

A total of 5,964 meals were served in the Copiah County Detention Center during the month of June. Jail population Monday was 64 with 12 of those being state inmates.

Salaries of two deputies were altered, in one case to correct an error and the other based on 10 years of service. David L. Drumm was hired as full time deputy.

Dr. Janet Schriver, cultural affairs director, was authorized to accept a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission to bring in a rap artist to work with youth in November. The plan is to let kids audition and write their own songs to perform with the rap artist. Clean lyrics only, Schriver pointed out.

A subcontract on the Broome Road bridge project was approved.

Application for permits to widen Advance Lane in the industrial park was authorized.

David Mims resigned from the road department. Wayne Crump was hired as truck driver.

No action was taken in executive session where personnel and possible litigation were discussed.

The board recessed until Thursday, July 10, at 9 a.m.

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