Sheriff vocalizes need for updated technology

Frank Turner

Due to old and aging equipment, the Adams County Sheriff’s Department is vocalizing their need to update their technology in front of the county commissioners. According to Adams County Sheriff Travis Collins, updated technological equipment is a necessary part of modern law enforcement. 

“Since the late 2000’s, there has been a transition to more technology with police work. When I started, there wasn’t a video camera or computer in the vehicle and now, over the years, it has moved to a camera and computer in every vehicle, and even body cams to help us do our job even better.” 

The department is looking to eventually come up with a schedule to replace their old technology. According to Sheriff Collins, the current computers used in patrol vehicles were purchased on a grant from 2012, so they are now going on 7 years old.  

Sheriff’s Deputy Andy Roehl added that they are still using Windows 7 on their computers in the patrol vehicles because they are not able to update them. For reference, Windows 10 is the most updated version of Microsoft’s operating systems.   

“With every technology, as the private industry knows, you buy it and the next year it’s going toward obsolete,” said Sheriff Collins.   

Sheriff Collins also said that replacement parts for their technology are getting hard to find. Because a lot of companies no longer manufacture replacement parts for old equipment, he said they have had to search E-bay for specific replacement parts. 

The Sheriff’s department has not yet submitted anything official to the commissioners. However in the future, according to Sheriff Collins, the department is hoping to replace their MDT computers, in-car video cameras, radio units, body cameras, and even possibly their tasers.      

“We are trying to figure out a reasonable schedule to replace the equipment so it doesn’t come out of the tax budget all at the same time,” continued Sheriff Collins. “We just want to look forward to the future to make sure that our funding is available… We don’t [want to] lose out on those technologies that are available, because they have served us greatly in performing our job.”  

When asked for comment, Adams County Commissioner Kathy Vliem replied, “To save County tax dollars, we are on a rotation plan with updating technology County wide.  Items are sufficient even when older.  Our first concern is always saving County dollars fairly and updating in a timely manner.” 

Commissioner Dustin Laufer also replied, “…We’ve been fortunate in the past to receive some grant money for some of these needs.  We try to rotate funds through the different departments of the county to meet the needs that are above the normal operating funds.  One of our main goals is not to increase the amount of taxes Adams County constituents have to pay, so we try to carefully determine what we feel are necessities before authorizing any large purchases…” 

In his response, Laufer also mentioned that, for a few years in the past, a fourth Adams County deputy was being funded through a grant that has since expired. When the funding expired, due to “strong request from Sheriff Collins,” the commissioners agreed to continue funding that fourth Adams County deputy. He also included that the additional expense from funding the fourth deputy could effect and possibly limit the budget of the Sheriff’s Department.