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County OKs new law enforcement network
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 If you have done or are doing something wrong and get pulled over by a Barton County law enforcement officer, beware. A new system that will go into service later this year will make it easier and quicker for them to find out just what you’ve been up to.

The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved contracting with Huber & Associates of Jefferson City, Mo., for use of its Enterpol computer-aided dispatch software. The system is used by 60 law enforcement agencies in Kansas, including Rice and Russell counties.

The total up-front cost will be $182,074, which will be picked up by the county at first, said Barton County Administrator Richard Boeckman. But, the cost of the services would be split between Barton County Sheriff’s Office, Barton County Attorney’s Office, and the Claflin, Ellinwood, Great Bend and Hoisington police departments based on the number of users. 

These other entities will reimburse the county for their portion of the implementation cost as well as pay their own annual charge. Barton County’s start-up fee is about $100,745.

The total annual  maintenance fee is $32,480 for all the parties involved. Again, each will cover their slice of that.

But, Boeckman said the new system will pay for itself in a little over two years. Several years ago, the county selected was Global Software of Edmond, Okla., to provide a computer-aided dispatch system, however, there have been problems with service of late. Global was also very costly, with an annual price tag of over $85,000.

So, this savings will add up in a hurry, he said.

Boeckman said they started a search for a less expensive system with better vendor service. Boeckman, Sheriff Brian Bellendir and Information Technology Director John Debes arrived at Enterpol.

In a nutshell, this system provides a way connect officers with each other, communications and the court system through integrated computer aided dispatch, records management software and other applications that share data, said Rodney Viessman of Huber & Associates. Officers can run checks on drivers while their patrol cars without calling 911 and can even fill out reports on their in-car computers before they get back to the station at the end of their shifts.

Enterpol provides additional and enhanced services, Viessman said. “local agencies would have access to a shared database with the other cities and counties in Kansas using the software. It also offers the potential for other options to improve officer efficiency.  With access to all this new information, those on duty can spot possible dangerous situations. “For officer safety, this is critical,” Boeckman said.

“This takes months to implement,” Viessman said. It should be in place by the end of the year.