3 communities, county plan to merge records - Council okays to seal deal

    Adams County Sheriff Shane Rekeweg, accompanied by Decatur Police Chief Ken Ketzler, Berne Police Chief Tim Taylor, and Geneva Marshall Rob Johnson, asked the county commissioners on Monday for approval to move forward on combining the records management system of all three towns into one system, with the sheriff's department being the central policy holder.
    Rekeweg said the sheriff's department currently uses a Sunguard Management System, which is used for the Computer Aided Dispatch, records management, and jail management.
    By combining the three communities to the same system, Rekeweg said it could save time and resources by allowing multiple police agencies to see if a particular case has similarities to another case being investigated in a different town.
    Rekeweg said the sheriff's department would be charged approximately $35,000 to add the new departments, and that each department will reimburse the county for the portion of the system it uses throughout the year.
    Commissioner Kim Fruechte asked if Sunguard would consider billing each department separately rather than asking the sheriff's office to pay for the services upfront, then being reimbursed by the three additional agencies.
    Rekeweg said he would talk to Sunguard about that possibility; however, he noted that initially the company said the system belongs to the sheriff's department, therefore the county is responsible for the bills incurred for operation.
    Adams County Attorney Mark Burry said he didn't have any issues with Adams County taking the lead and keeping everything through the sheriff's department, as long as all three city/town councils approve the funding prior to the county submitting the purchase order.
    Commissioners unanimously approved the proposal to begin the process, providing all three councils agree to the funding.