Society Hill Town Council recognizes domestic violence awareness, discusses computers and cybersecurity
By Stephan Drew, Editor
On Tuesday, October 11th, the Town Council of Society Hill met to discuss computer system upgrades and recognize the battle against domestic violence.
Pam Johnson of the Pee Dee Coalition was on hand to receive a proclamation from the mayor and council. The proclamation designates October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Johnson explained that fatalities from domestic violence have decreased this year. However, as she said, “The numbers are still too high. No one should have to live that life.”
Council also listened to 2 presentations from different computer support companies. Matt Odom of Heritage Digital gave the council information on computer system programs, the present state of the town’s equipment and what upgrades his company thinks need to be done to insure the security of the system. Odom explained that Heritage Digital frequently does internal and external audits of a town’s computer system to see how it is operating and whether any security breaches are threatened. Odom stated, “Most small municipalities have gaps in cybersecurity because of limited budgets. When you have internet active points working together with a secure firewall, it puts something like an imaginary forcefield over the entire building. Nothing can leave that forcefield and nothing can get in from outside.” Council member Melissa Burch asked if any equipment was included in the cost evaluation. “No, there are no laptops or workstations included in this cost evaluation.”
Mayor Duke asked about the actual structure of the sytem. Odom stated, “A firewall is the most important piece of any networking infrastructure. This firewall is constantly patched and updated.” Council also discussed the need for a town website. Odom explained the alternatives available for each specific need and how each section operates.
Bill Lynch, CEO of Asset Technology Group, detailed his company’s experience and gave an evaluation of the present system. “We currently do the IT work for the City of Darlington, the Town of Cheraw, Town of Lamar, the Town of Elgin and we also do all the work for the 4th Circuit Solicitor’s office,” he said. Lynch also noted the age of the present equipment and the need for updating. “Basically, looking at the stuff you have, it’s extremely old. We stopped selling those I-3s over 5 years ago,” Lynch stated.
Council member Melissa Burch expressed concern over the internet service within the Society Hill area when she stated, “We, all of us, no matter where you live, we struggle with low bandwidth. How is that going to affect these systems that you’ll be putting in?” Lynch replied, “I believe Spectrum now offers a higher bandwidth in this area now.” Mayor Duke interjected, “I was at a county council meeting about 2 months ago. Have you seen all those little marks down the side of the road? That’s Spectrum, y’all. So, they’re putting it in. We are going to get an upgrade in service.” Lynch’s evaluation did include workstations, laptops and other necessary equipment.
In other business, Police Chief Renea Worden gave her monthly update. In addition to her regular law enforcement duties, she took her vacation time travelled to Englewood, Florida, to help with cleanup efforts after Hurricane Ian. “It was very humbling,” Worden said, “we were down there to help them and, they were trying to help us make sure we had showers, food and a clean place to sleep. It really was very humbling.”
The council will next meet on November 15th.