City looks to rejoin county records system

Five years after a contentious dispute led Shawano Police to abandon the county's law enforcement record-keeping system and invest in its own, the department has struck a new agreement to rejoin the county system.

A memorandum of understanding was approved Friday by the county's Public Safety Committee, but still must go before the County Board and Shawano Common Council.

If approved there, Shawano Police would once again be part of a computerized dispatching and record-keeping system called Spillman — a name that in 2005 had come to stand for deep-seated antagonism between the city and the county.

But that was then and this is now, as far as the Shawano Police Department is concerned.

Police Chief Ed Whealon said there had been discussions going on for several months with the county chairman and sheriff about returning to Spillman.

The discussions were prompted by several factors, Whealon explained, including the option — not available in 2005 — for the city to buy its own license from Spillman rather than relying on the county's. The city would make a one-time investment of $49,000 to purchase the license. There is another projected $7,000 a year expected in maintenance costs.

Another significant factor is that the record-keeping system the city opted to purchase five years ago — the FORS system purchased from the Fox Valley Technical Institute for $26,000 — has increasingly been having technical issues.

More on this story in Wolf River Weekend.