Funding approved for broken dispatch system

By Christina Calloway

PNT senior writer

The Portales City Council approved money to replace a broken dispatch and recording system that area law enforcement agencies depend on Tuesday in hopes to expedite the replacement process.

It was an action the councilors felt deserved immediate attention at their last council meeting because until the system is replaced, no information is being recorded.

“We have no way to document what’s going on,” said the city’s IT Director Dennis Hales.

Portales Police Chief Doug Jones went before the council Tuesday night to request approval for a proposal from Intelligent Solutions for CAPERS, a data-management product. The city’s portion of the $87,500 products is about $54,000.

Jones said the proposal met all required evaluation criteria and general requirements and it is critical to public safety.

The city approved their portion of the cost and the remaining portion will be paid through grant money and from police department resources, according to Jones.

Jones added that maintenance for the system is $15,000 a year.

The recording system completely shut down on July 5, according to Hales. Because this system records all radio traffic and 911 calls, Hales said a request for bids was put out immediately.

Hales suggested the council award the bid to Insight, a company in Arizona, for a little over $30,000, which includes a two-year warranty.

“This is a dire emergency for the Portales Police Department and the Portales Fire Department,” Hales said.

He added that the Roosevelt County Sherriff’s Office and the Eastern New Mexico University Police Department use the system.

Although the bid was approved, Councilor Ronald Jackson said he wanted to make sure the other agencies paid some portion for the system too since they use it. Portales City Manager Doug Redmond said he’s working with those other agencies.

The council also approved the city entering into a loan agreement with the New Mexico Environment Department for $27 million to build a wastewater treatment plant.

Portales Public Works Director John DeSha said although the loan guarantees money up to $27 million, he doesn’t predict the project will cost more than $24 million.

U.S. 70 reconstruction project officials also offered an update.

Constructors Inc., Project Manager John Guldemann said he’s three weeks behind his schedule for downtown Portales because of recent weather. But he said if there’s no more rain this week, he plans to pour concrete.

Guldemann added that they are working on signs and striping of completed streets.

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