Colton council to vote on proposed new teen center, computer software for police

Michael J. Sorba, Staff Writer

COLTON – The City Council will have a full plate at its meeting tonight.

A variety of important items are up for approval, including contracts to construct a new teen center and a request for new computer software for the Police Department.

Police Chief Bob Miller is requesting the software to replace “existing obsolete programs” the department is using, according to a report Miller submitted to the council.

The department taps into the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department computer system.

Using it is cumbersome because it requires officers to input the same data multiple times, said Lt. Mark Owens. There also are delays when obtaining data, because it must be requested from the Sheriff's Department, Owens added.

The new system – developed by Salt Lake City-based Spillman Technologies Inc. – features a component that locates patrol cars in the field so they can be dispatched to crime scenes nearest to them, said Sgt. Lou Gamache.

“It's going to give the watch commanders another tool to put the resources where they're needed most,” Owens said.

It also will streamline data input and make it easier to quickly access crime statistics, Gamache said.

The software contract is for an amount not to exceed $713,905. If approved, it will take four to six months to implement the new system, Owens said.

The council will consider approving three contracts totaling about $1.4 million to build the city's much-anticipated teen center at Cesar Chavez Park, 604 N. Mount Vernon Ave.

If the contracts are approved, construction should begin in February and will likely be completed sometime in the summer, said Public Works Director Maritza Tapia.

The Police Activities League will have a major presence at the center. The league's recreational boxing program will be housed at the center's gym, and Miller is using his connections at Cal State San Bernardino to get tutors for academic programs and homework assistance.

Miller was chief of the university's police department before becoming Colton's top cop.

Because the teen center will be built at the park, children and officers will be able to use its athletic fields, basketball courts and tennis courts for recreational activities, said Lt. Bill Burrows.

Aside from the academic and recreational components, the center also will have computers, space for social activities and gatherings, lounge space with a television, video games and table games, Burrows said.