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Members of Berne City Council agreed on Tuesday evening to share in the cost of creating a combined network that will allow all law enforcement agencies in the county to instantly have access to each other's criminal records and data bases.
Berne became the final piece in the puzzle that will see police forces in Decatur, Geneva and Monroe enter into an agreement with the Adams County Sheriff's Department to implement the Sunguard Management System network.
According to Berne Police Chief Tim Taylor, the cities and towns have a one-time opportunity to join the sheriff department's records management system "at a reduced cost, if we all join at once." The legislative bodies in Decatur, Geneva and Monroe have already approved the move. "They're waiting on us," said Taylor.
The Berne chief said initial start-up costs for the city to join the countywide system will be $5,600. That figure is based on the number of officers in the Berne police force, he said. In successive years the city will be required to pay an annual maintenance fee of $1,720. Taylor said the annual fee for the Berne department's current crime records data base system is $2,200.
"I think this is a great move for law enforcement in our county to be able to instantly share information," said Taylor. "It's good for law enforcement, and it's good for the county."
Council members agreed, voting 5-0 to support the move. The city's board of public works and safety had recommended joining the countywide system during a meeting held earlier Tuesday evening.