Villa Grove's police cars getting new computers

VILLA GROVE – All three of the city's police squad cars will soon be outfitted with new mobile computers.

The city council approved the installation of the computers at Monday night's meeting for a total cost of $982.

The computers were purchased last summer with funds from the Federal Homeland Security Mobile Digital Computer Grant awarded to the city by the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System. The Panasonic Toughbook computers have a value of $25,500.

The city's only expense will be for the installation of the computers and programming services for the onboard modems. Barbeck's Communication will program the computer modems for an estimated $125 each.

Randy Dohm, who is a Motorola certified technician, was recommended by Police Chief Dennis Gire, so the installation will be covered under the warranty. Dohm will charge the city $607 for his services.

The computers currently being used by the police department are approximately 5 years old, according to Mayor Ron Hunt. The money will be taken out of the contractual services budget.

In other business

Council considers fees for fingerprinting, notary services. The council discussed charging the public for fingerprinting and notary services. The city does not currently charge for the two services. According to Alderwoman Lois Wilson, that has drawn people from other communities to Villa Grove for those needs. The council discussed charging lower rates for Villa Grove residents and making higher rates for out-of-town residents. The topic was tabled until further information could be gathered from surrounding towns on their policies. The council will revisit the issue at its next meeting Jan. 26.

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