State requirements mean equipment upgrades for Society Hill Police

By Melissa Rollins, Editor,

Technology upgrades can be expensive but sometimes that’s the cost of doing business. Society Hill Chief of Police David Young told town council members Tuesday, April 10, that in the next few months, several pieces of his department’s equipment will need to be replaced or upgraded to meet state standards.

“During the year 2017, there are going to be some unforeseen expenditures that the police department is going to have that’s out of our control,” Young said.

He explained that the equipment upgrades are not something that can be put off.

Society Hill Police Chief David Young
Photo by Melissa Rollins

“The Palmetto 800 radio system, that is basically the radio system that all of your emergency service agencies operate off of; it’s statewide,” Young said. “Years ago different departments had different systems but now it is all controlled by one entity. They are going to be changing over. It was described to me like the old analog television and digital television where they shut the analog down and it went to digital transmission. Now the Palmetto 800 radio system is moving to the new thing and we are going to go with it.”

Unlike surrounding departments, Young said, Society Hill only has a few radios that will require upgrades.

“Fortunately, we are not a big department and we don’t have a lot of radios but one of the radios they can’t do anything with it,” Young said. “The car radios and the three portables, they can be flashed and programmed and we’ll be able to use those. I don’t see it being a major expenditure but that is going to be an expenditure that is out of our control. That will be taking place in the next couples of months.”

Another cost that Young brought before council involves changing the way that tickets are given out, with the intention of making the process more streamlined.

“It has been mandated by the DMV that we are doing away with handwritten tickets,” Young said. “A lot of people look at tickets as just traffic tickets but, in South Carolina, there are only two charging documents, that is the traffic ticket and the warrant. That traffic ticket is not just for traffic violations, if someone is arrested for shoplifting it goes on that same ticket.”

The expense comes from having to purchase the equipment that will facilitate typing and printing tickets to replace the handwritten ones.

“We are going to have to purchase laptops for the three vehicles, the stands and hardware and stuff to go on it, a printer, scanner,” Young said. “The way it works is there will be a scanner like at the grocery store, you scan the driver’s license and it goes into the system, you type a little bit of information and it prints out a ticket. The main thing is that it will go to the DMV in a short amount of time instead of taking weeks and months for it to show up on your driver’s license. That is going to be a pretty big expenditure, I think. You figure up all of that and, I would need to get quotes and talk to other agencies, but, I would imagine it would be a couple of thousand dollars per car.”

Young said that he will have exact figures to council after getting quotes from several vendors so that they can have them going into their May budget worksession.

Author: Duane Childers

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