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Council to upgrade, buy laptop computers for police department

December 16, 1998

Hagerstown City Council members informally agreed Tuesday to spend $883,663 to upgrade Hagerstown City Police computers and buy laptop computers for squad cars.

Council members are expected to formally approve the contract during their regular meeting next Tuesday.

Police Chief Dale Jones told council members during a Tuesday council work session that the improvements would reduce paperwork and allow officers to check license plate numbers and drivers' licenses from their vehicles.

The money also would pay to upgrade the computerized dispatch system to make the system ready for the year 2000, which the current system is not, Jones said.

The upgrade would allow dispatchers to more easily track patrolling officers and review previous police calls to a specific address. Jones said the system upgrade could be done by February.

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Some of the money would be used to automate police arrest records, currently kept in file cabinets, Jones said.

Jones said it probably would take until the end of the summer to put 20 laptop computers into squad cars.

Council members William M. Breichner and Lewis C. Metzner were absent.

- Dan Kulin

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