Geneva Marshall Rob Johnson asked the Geneva Town Council on Tuesday to approve a $3,700 expenditure for software that will allow Geneva to join the other police departments in the county in merging to one records management system. Additionally, the annual agreement with the management system company will cost Geneva approximately $900.
Johnson said, "Our countywide goal is to get all of the agencies on the same record system, using all of the same forms."
He explained that although the system won't be completely up and running to its full capacity for a couple of years, approving the expenditure for the software is the first step.
"This is just to get started," said Johnson. "How long it will take is going to hinge on whether the county can get a grant."
Johnson added that merging to one records management system will help with officer safety. For example, he said that once the system is in place, all of the police vehicles are expected to be equipped with laptops on which they can type a license plate number and find a person's complete history with law enforcement and if there is anything the officer should be concerned about.
Currently, Geneva officers call the county when they make a stop to let others know of their whereabouts "in case something goes sour," said Johnson. The new system will issue an alert if there might be a problem, giving the officer time to call for backup if necessary.
Johnson said, "I think it [the new system] is a necessity. He also noted that Adams County Prosecutor Chris Harvey is endorsing the records system change.
Clerk-Treasurer Bill Warren said, "The budget is going to be extremely tight. I am struggling to find the money, but I also see it as a necessity for officer safety. We're going to have to be extremely careful with the budget."
Even with some budget concerns, council members voiced their full support for the project and agreed to participate if the others cities — Berne and Decatur — also sign on.