City council approves updating police software system

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council unanimously approved an update to the police department's aging record management system at Monday's meeting.

The Columbia Police Department has used the existing system for 22 years.

"Being a police officer nowadays requires a tremendous amount of data entry," said Dale Roberts, executive director of the Columbia Police Officers Association.

Roberts said the age of the system causes inefficiency.

"It causes officers to spend a great amount of time on the computer where they could be on the street," Roberts said.

Columbia's City Manager Mike Matthes agreed it is time for an update.

"It's all very old fashioned," Matthes said. "It's not a typewriter. It's the next thing after the typewriter we're using."

CPD uses the system daily for things from filing reports for detectives to filing accounts of arrests.

In 2011, a lack of consensus of the best provider led to an abandonment of the update.

Earlier this year, a committee of CPD, IT and the city manager's office heard proposals from three companies.

The committee settled on SunGard Public Sector after four months of evaluation.

The short-term cost of the software and service is $948,293. Annual software maintenance is estimated at $67,970.

Matthes said the new system will give the city an opportunity to work closely with other departments by allowing information to be shared more easily.