The Crothersville town council approved upgrading the local police department’s mobile communication equipment when they met last Tuesday evening.
Crothersville Chief of Police Richard Hanlin proposed that the town purchase laptop computers for all police vehicles and for the police office.
“This will improve our ability to communicate with the sheriff’s and other police departments in the area,” Hanlin told the council.
Paul Borden of Ni-Tech in Brownstown said the computers and software would allow local officers to have the same software as the county and other local police departments.
He explained that the software allows a local officer to look up a person’s traffic and criminal history. “If a motorist was cited for an offense elsewhere in the county and is stopped by a local officer, that earlier incident, even if it happened just a few hours previous, would be in the computer data base and available to Crothersville Police officers,” Borden said.
If a person is a suspect in a recent crime or domestic dispute and is stopped by local officers for a traffic offense, they would know immediately of the previous police report filing.
Additionally, the mobile software has GPS tracking which would allow other police agencies called to assist to know the exact location of Crothersville officers.
Borden said that the system would not allow local officers access to Indiana State Police files. “The state is on a different system than the county and other local police agencies,” Borden explained.
Cost of the computers, software and initial start-up is $3,600 with annual service and software updates of $1,650.
Hanlin said he is approaching the Jackson County 911 Board about assisting financially in the initial cost of the upgrades.
“This would make our department more modern,” said councilman Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson.
The council unanimously approved the expenditure.
In another matter, at last month’s meeting council president Ardell Mitchell suggested that the town should revisit the local ATV ordinance.
“We may get more people from out in the country coming to town to shop here if we eliminate the $25 ATV registration,” Mitchell explained at last week’s meeting. “We want them to come to town and spend their money and an ATV is a more energy efficient way or transportation.”
The ATV registration fees have, since the ordinance’s adoption two years ago, brought in about $600 annually to the town. Those funds are earmarked for the local police department.
In addition to have their 4-wheeler or side-by-side UTV registered with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, to operate on town streets, residents must pay a local fee, have the ATV inspected by the local police and show proof of insurance. Additionally operators must have a valid driver’s license.
However, council members Derrick Minton and Robinson did not share Mitchell’s opinion of amending the local ordinance.
“There have been no complaints on the fee,” said Minton.
“And what about insurance?” said Robinson. “ Having to get a local permit is a safety check that they do have insurance.”
The matter was dropped.
In other business, the town decided to move forward with razing the old town barn next to the former Co-Op grain bins. The facility is in below average condition and the town no longer uses the building.
“We need to fix it up or tear it down,” said Mitchell. “It isn’t fair for us to go after others for derelict property when we have one of our own.”
Minton said the local fire department has some surplus no longer used equipment stored in the building. The council gave the local firefighters 60 days to remove and dispose of the surplus before the town begins razing the structure.
•The council agreed that the local trick or treat night would be Halloween, Thursday, Oct. 31, from 6-8 p.m. Residents welcoming trick or treaters should turn on their front porch lights.
•Clerk-Treasurer Michele Teipen reported that the town hall would be closed on Thursday, Nov. 7, to allow office workers to take part in software training for the town’s water-sewer billing system.
•Sherry Bridges, director of the Crothersville Red, White & Blue Festival reported to the council that this year’s festival was well attended. She said there were 97 wristbands sold for the carnival prior to the festival. “All that we sell is profit to us,” she said noting that as a result of a profitable 2012 festival, contributions totaling $600 were given to the Crothersville Ministerial Association, Crothersville FFA, and Hamacher Hall earlier this year.
“We are pleased we can re-invest festival profits back with local groups who assist and improve our community,” said Bridges.