2/24/17 – The Dodge County Board this week rejected a proposal to use county sales tax dollars to cover some of the costs that local police departments have to pay to connect to the sheriff’s department’s new countywide computer system. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is in the process of implementing a new records management system that would link 17 municipal law enforcement agencies in the county together. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says the software for Spillman will be free to each municipal department however those departments will each have to pay a one-time training fee of $720-per officer this year and a yearly maintenance fee of $280-per computer beginning in 2019. For the Beaver Dam Police Department, that translates to $26-thousand dollars for its 37 officers plus $14-thousand annually for its 51-computers.
Police Chief John Kreuziger says that is considerably higher than the $4300 total cost to be part of the failed New World computer system, which was put into place three years ago but has been plagued with issues. The higher costs led city leaders in Beaver Dam to ask the county board to use revenues from the county’s half-percent sales tax to pay the fees. Among other things, Kreuziger notes that he has 13 officers who work part-time in other local police agencies and Beaver Dam would pay that fee without reimbursement, unless the city can find a way to recoup the costs. Kreuziger says that he does not feel those negotiations should be his responsibility when it is a countywide software program. On a 19-to-10 vote, the county board this week rejected the request by Beaver Dam to have county sales tax dollar’s pay $29-thousand dollars in maintenance fees for all 17 city, village and township police departments.
Sheriff Schmidt says negotiations will continue with Beaver Dam, one of two agencies that have yet to sign-on to Spillman. Schmidt says it would cost Beaver Dam a half million dollars to get a comparable system on their own. Both Sheriff Schmidt and Chief Kreuziger say they are confident that a deal will be reached that will be in the best interest of both agencies and the taxpayers.