Common Council urges county to fund software upgrade

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At Monday night’s Common Council meeting, a resolution sponsored by Alderperson David Bogdala to urge the Kenosha County Board to commit funds for software upgrades for Joint Services to continue to provide access to law enforcement data bases was unanimously approved.  The county removed the funding from their budget.

The city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) calls for putting $1.3 million in funding toward upgrading the 26-year-old system over the next two years.  The funding split calls for $400,000 in 2013, and $900,000 in 2014.  The Finance Committee supported those funds last week, and the full City Council will consider the funding as part of the CIP next week.  To read more about this, click here:  “Finance Committee Approves CIP.”

Both the city and the county are to pay for this software upgrade.  The board passed the county’s budget without the proposed $1.7 million the county was to provide for the project, which was removed from the budget by the county’s Finance and Administration Committee. The reason given for the removal was that a consultant had not been selected for the project yet.  However, Jeffrey Gentz said last week that he expects the board to support the funding once a plan for the update is selected.

Bogdala said, “If this is not funded, it will put the city and the county at a serious disadvantage.  I respect the fact that they want to get a more concrete dollar amount.  But, whether you put a dollar or a million dollars in, you need to show that you are moving forward with this.”

Bogdala asked Police Chief John Morrissey several questions about what would happen if this software upgrade were not funded.  Morrissey said, “If this is not funded, the FBI could shut down the system if it’s not within the code.  By the county removing the funding, they are saying that it’s not a high priority.  If we lose the ability to access the data bases, we will be in a world of hurt,” he said.  “We need to keep on it.  It’s a huge issue.”

Alderperson Scott Gordon requested co-sponsorship.  He said, “Don’t mess with officer safety.  Those guys and gals out there are putting their lives on the line on a daily basis, and we need to give them the tools that they need to be safe out there.”

Alderperson Daniel Prozanski asked for everyone’s support.  Mayor Keith Bosman said that he discussed it with County Executive Jim Kreuser, and he said that Kreuser is on the same page.  “He was supportive of maintaining the funding for the project,” said Bosman.

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