A request for nearly $17,000 for police software was put on hold by Grand Coulee’s city council last Tuesday night.
The police department is seeking the funds to pay licensing fees for new software for patrol car laptop computers.
The request was for 10 licenses at $1,675 each, prompting Councilmember David Tylor to ask if “police could write more tickets to pay for the licenses.”
The new software will allow officers to gain information about vehicles and their owners or drivers before confronting a possible felon or someone wanted by authorities, and giving officers time to request a backup if the situation requires one.
Fire Chief Rick Paris told the council that this would make police work easier and safer for officers. That brought a comment from Councilmember Paul Townsend: “Spend that kind of money to make it easier, that’s my problem.”
Councilmember Erin Nielsen asked if the Bureau of Reclamation should pay part of the licensing fees since Grand Coulee officers double as security personnel at the dam. He was asked by Mayor Chris Christopherson to check with the appropriate counterpart at the federal agency.
The city council will likely look at the licensing issue again at its next meeting.
“We may have to do a budget amendment to come up with the money,” City Clerk Carol Boyce stated.