Franklin county Sheriff pushes for new computers in patrol cars

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Sheriff's deputies in Franklin County need a large scale software update. In fact, many patrol cars don't even have the hardware they need to keep up with changes in state procedures.

"The computers are old," stressed Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver, "and some of them work, some of them don't and it's just time to update them."

Their computers are anywhere from eight to ten years old. Some patrol cars have a desk, but no computer.

"There's some of them that are not working at all and it's not even feasible to get them fixed, because the operating program is way behind what they need now to operate."

Deputies use their computers for incident reports and background checks in the field.
They are a tool necessary to keep patrol units out on the streets. E-tickets are also starting to become a norm for state agencies.

"The state is kind of going electronic and it's just something that we gotta do," the Sheriff said about purchasing new computers.

He is working to secure funding through a federal grant, to cover at least half of 15 new computers they need. When the department realized the computers would have to be replaced, they began researching different funding options and came across the Byrne Justice Assistance grant program.

The Sheriff said they have applied for that grant, and would like to have the computers as soon as possible for deputies to be able to work more efficiently. They hope to phase them in over the next year.

Each computer could cost up to $1,200.