Snowflake Council OKs Purchase Of Software For Police Department

By Naomi Hatch

The Snowflake Town Council approved purchase of Spillman software for use by the Snowflake-Taylor Police Department last week.

“It is not a back door attempt to get into regional dispatch,” said Snowflake-Taylor Police Chief Larry Scarber as he began his presentation to the council March 8.

Scarber’s department has a window of opportunity to participate with regional dispatch and piggyback off its price to purchase Spillman software, which would upgrade the current RMS system, and allow criminal information sharing with other agencies. The cost of $123,000 is approximately one-fourth of what it would be by participating with regional dispatch, and they will get the same training and updates as those participating in regional dispatch will.

The chief made the same presentation to the Taylor Town Council the previous week, and noted that Taylor officials agreed the town would front the funding for the down payment.

“I’m cautiously optimistic we would be able to recoup most, if not all of the cost,” said Chief Scarber, explaining that he has worked closely with officials of the Yaqui Tribe, which gives grants from its gaming money.

The Yaquis use Spillman software, and the chief has provided his support to give a grant to the STPD for most, if not all of the $123,000 cost. The STPD will also pay approximately $400 a month to regional dispatch for storing information.

Councilman Terril Kay expressed concern about the cost and setting up the dispatch center.

Town Manager Brian Richards explained that they currently pay $10,000 a year to RMS, and would save that money.

“We would start fresh, basically,” said Scarber noting that they would not get RMS mapped over to Spillman, which will save. He noted that those booked into jail would have their records stored with the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office.

In response to questions posed by Councilman Stuart Hensley regarding the fiber optics, Scarber explained the cost is part of the service, and information will be housed at the Holbrook and Show Low stations.

Mayor Tom Poscharsky explained that Councilman Byron Lewis was out of town, but was available by phone. He had questioned getting the town’s own server for $3,000.

Hensley explained that they would still have to have a server, just not the one that runs on fiber optics.

Scarber said that while visiting the Department of Public Safety in Tucson a couple of weeks ago they were talking about getting new consoles. “I submitted a request and told them we would provide a loving home for their consoles,” said the chief.

“The worst case scenario for the Town of Snowflake is it’s going to cost us between $13,000 and $14,000 for five years. The best case scenario is it’s not going to cost us anything,” said Richards.

“Where’s that going to put Snowflake financially?” asked Kay.

Richards explained that it would take about a year to have it up and running, and that will be next fiscal year. “We’ll add $15,000 to the budget or whatever we need,” said Richards, noting that, hopefully, the tribe will pay for it.

“So we do have a commitment we’re to not take away from their (STPD) budget?” asked Kay.

Mayor Poscharsky said they will have a work session to deal with the budget in April and will discuss those issues then, but there would have to be some give and take.

“We’re not going to take away from police operations. We’ll have to add $15,000 or zero,” said Richards.

“I spoke with Mayor (Fay) Hatch after their (Taylor Town Council) meeting, and we want to thank them for their graciousness,” said Mayor Poscharsky.

The council unanimously approved purchasing the Spillman software for dispatch.

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