Brown County Sheriff's Office in desperate need of replacing computers

Leaders at the Brown County Sheriff's Office say there's an urgency to update decades-old equipment as deputies grow frustrated with equipment shortcomings.

"This is some of the newer ones," Chief Deputy James Stroope said, pointing at a desktop computer inside the office where patrol deputies meet. "It is an older computer still."

At least 12 computers need to be replaced around their office, according to Stroope.

"In today's society, everything is done electronically or on a computer. We don't have time for our computers to be broke down, waiting for repairs, [or] parts to come in," Stroope said.

Most of the computers that are falling apart are nearly a decade old and it’s preventing criminal investigators from looking up photos of suspects or victims during their investigations.

"You just can't do it with that type of equipment that we have right now," Stroope said.

The Sheriff's Office technology woes came up at a Brown County Commissioners' meeting on Jan 22.

"They are all starting to fail at the same time and they need to be replaced at the same time," Matt Krischke, the county's IT Manager, said.

Stroope said the department wants new desktops, as opposed to laptops, and they hope to give each investigator a tablet. He believes this effort will save the county money.

However, County Judge Ray West said commissioners have to first review the budget and decide which funds to make available for the purchase.

"We won't be able to buy everything we need at once, but at least we can begin the process," West said.

When asked Monday by Sheriff Vance Hill on a date that commissioners plan to take up the issue again, Judge West said not until March or April.

It will cost at least $20,000 to purchase the new equipment, according to the Brown County Sheriff's Office.

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