The Bloomfield Town Council voted Wednesday to approve the purchase of wireless Internet cards for the Bloomfield Police Department to connect with the Spillman Dispatch software.
Per the request of Town Marshal Kenneth Tharp, the town will be purchasing four Verizon wireless Internet cards at $30 per month to connect with the Computer-Aided Dispatch system.
Tharp suggested the Verizon contract because the company offers a special law enforcement agreement with unlimited Internet access.
Tharp came to the council with the suggestion in order to be able to connect with other local Spillman users, including the Greene County Sheriff's Department, Jasonville Police Department and Daviess County Sheriff's Department.
The purchase of the software would cost $30,000, but Tharp said he discussed the issue with Greene County Sheriff Terry Pierce.
"I didn't want to hit you guys with $30,000. This will give me time to look for grants or look into a payment plan through Spillman," Tharp noted.
While the wireless access would only provide "view only" access, Tharp and Bloomfield Police Lt. Harvey Holt agreed the purchase would be a help to the department.
"The other day the county was looking for a vehicle and it didn't get dispatched over the radio. That car drove right by me," Holt noted.
Access to the program would allow real-time access to what officers were being dispatched to certain areas and the nature of the incident.
Although, the view-only access would not allow the Bloomfield Police Department to enter information into the system until the full program is purchased.
Tharp added the program networks criminals and their associates, as well as their means of transportation.
"This is going to make investigations a lot easier. I want to get the air card so we aren't two steps behind. We are at a disadvantage," Tharp said. "This (program) is basically subverting the scanner."
Council member Doug Frye noted the access to the program would be helpful with the extra traffic accumulating from Interstate 69.
"I talked to Sheriff Pierce and (Chief) Deputy Major Mike Hasler, and they said they highly recommended it," Frye noted.
Tharp added the sheriff's department agreed to give the Bloomfield Police Department the training needed to use the view-only version of the program.
The council approved the purchase of 10 hand held Quantum 725 radios for the Bloomfield Fire Department in order for the department to be compliant in the narrow band conversion at the price of $189 each.
Fire Chief Lee Baker said the ten radios were not capable of being converted to the narrow band radio frequency.
The council also approved the purchase of nine parking meter mechanisms at $160 each in order to fix current issues with the meters and maintain the meters.
The Street Department was allotted a $200 clothing allowance in order to purchase boots and necessary clothing as of Jan. 1, 2013.
Frye requested the town's tornado siren be tested monthly. Tharp said the system checks itself on a daily basis.
Tharp said the monthly audible check can pose a problem, but will he will check the silent tests on a monthly basis.
"I think it's overkill because people will get used to hearing it," Tharp noted.