LISBON - New Police Chief Mike Abraham saved himself and the village $47,500 by going through the state to update the police department's computer system.
Abraham reported at this week's council meeting he has decided to take advantage of the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OLEG), a computer service offered only to police departments through the Ohio Attorney General's Office, rather than purchase a software program from the village's computer consultant, Infinite Synergy Inc.
In November, it was reported that Infinite offered to install a new software program for the police department at a cost of $47,500. Subscribing for monthly system updates to accomplish the same thing would cost $2,000 to $3,000 per month.
With village finances being what they are, Abraham, who was named chief in November, began looking into other alternatives and decided upon OLEG to accomplish the same thing for free. In addition to providing software services, OLEG is a link to a statewide law enforcement reporting database.
Abraham said participating in OLEG's reporting system will also make the police department eligible for certain state law enforcement grants. He said the only cost to the village will be for the four-hour training class.
In related news, council agreed to purchase a 2013 Ford Explorer police interceptor for $32,884 so one of the current cruisers can be retired and used as a backup.
This was done on the recommendation of Abraham, who is keeping with the practice of trying to purchase a new cruiser every year so they have no vehicle older than three years old.
The other quote was for a Ford Taurus police cruiser for $1,500 less than the Explorer. Abraham said he favored the Explorer because of the additional room it provides, and there was little difference in the mileage. The Explorer is being bought from Donnell Ford in Salem through the state purchasing discount program.
Abraham has become disenchanted with the fleet of Chevrolet Impala cruisers in use, which have proven unreliable and need frequent repair. The other popular choice for new cruisers currently is the Dodge Charger, but Abraham said it was too expensive.
"I'd just like to give the Fords a try," he said.
The money for the purchase will come from the parking meter fund, which has a current balance of $45,000. Abraham pointed out the Franklin Township Fire Department is donating the mobile radio for the Explorer because the village dispatches for the fire department.
Finally, council gave Abraham permission to advertise for applications to fill one of the two part-time parking meter readers jobs following the recent resignation of Shannon Owens.