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Potsdam Police Department prepares for software upgrade

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POTSDAM — The village Police Department will buy several new computers and additional equipment to prepare for a new software system designed to make work easier for officers and dispatchers.

The money for the upgrade will not come from the budget. Instead, the Potsdam Board of Trustees voted 3-0 on Monday to allow the department to use $8,359 in restricted Drug Enforcement Agency funds the department gained through the seizure of illegal items. Trustees Ruth F. Garner and Stephen J. Warr were absent.

The software, made by Spillman Technology Inc., Salt Lake City, will be provided by the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, which adopted the system last year and has made it free for county police.

“We opted to get on board,” said Potsdam Police Chief Kevin M. Bates.

Although the software was free, the Potsdam Police Department’s computers are not powerful enough to use all of the system’s features, according to Mr. Bates.

“In order to use the system to its potential, we needed to upgrade some of our equipment,” he said.

Village police now use a software system called the Spectrum Justice System, provided by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

According to Mr. Bates, the existing software is outdated, and very few people in Albany know how to troubleshoot it if something goes wrong.

The new system features several other advantages besides being easier to maintain and update, Mr. Bates said.

For the first time, officers will be able to record arrests and obtain information from dispatchers right away through their in-car computers.

The system also allows dispatchers to track patrol cars.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office adopted Spillman software in 2010.

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