Money for better communication devices
By Neil B. McGahee
Rochelle Police Chief Mickey Barfield felt his officers were falling behind to keep up with current police technology.
“All of these smaller agencies like us; It’s hard to get the funds to buy such items, ”he said. “Only the four computers, the printers and of course the installation used up most of the grant.”
Last summer Barfield said he contacted them
Georgia Chiefs Association to inquire about a technology scholarship they offer.
They said they had already distributed all of their funds but offered to put him on a waiting list for next year when the funds become available.
“I got a call in January that they had given the Rochelle Police Department a $ 10,000 technology grant,” Barfield said. “It enables small law enforcement agencies to buy computers for their cars, along with booths and printers.”
“We wasted a lot of valuable time and public visibility,” said Barfield. “After each call that required a written report, the answering officer returned to the station to write his report. This keeps him off the street and cannot take calls and is not visible to citizens. “
This last part is crucial.
Visibility lets citizens know they are being protected and lets the wicked know that they are being watched.
“We have an average of 275 to 350 calls a month,” he said. “And that includes everything from issuing a parking ticket to responding to a fight or a shootout.
“The state of Georgia now requires that we report a lot of information to them, and this new technology will enable us to fulfill that mandate.”