Computers may 'speed up' police

Linda Mitchell works at her computer at the West Point Police Department.
Staff Writer

The West Point Police Department hopes a grant will modernize its outdated computers.

Selectmen this week authorized Police Chief Avery Cook to apply for a $15,000 grant from the 4-County Electric Cooperative Foundation for 17 new desktop computer hard drives, monitors and related equipment.
Ironically, the current computers were purchased with a grant 10 years ago.

"They are just slow and outdated. Some of them won't even take the new versions of software or software updates," Cook said of the current situation.

"How long have you got?" Officer Linda Mitchell responded when asked about the computers. "They are just soooo slow."

While bad during the week, the department at least access access to IT personnel during the week to resolve problems quickly.

The problem is more severe on weekends or when investigators are trying to get time-sensitive paperwork like search warrants.

"If things stop or lock up on weekends, officers can do some things, like some reports or have to do them in Word. And we have to tell citizens sometimes to come back on Monday. It's a real inconvenience and not very efficient," Cook explained.

"If it's something that is time sensitive, something like a search warrant, it can be a problem," the chief continued.

The 4-County awards its next grants April 9.