MPD to receive new software, thanks to council vote

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Purchasing new software may allow Minden Police Department to be in compliance with state and national law enforcement data agencies and eligible for grants for help with equipment.

Cost of the new software is $44,000 annually, but officials believe it will be recuperated in the form of grants.

Deputy Chief Tokia Harrison said MPD entered into a software agreement four years ago with Tyler Technologies, but it was not what they expected.

Reading a message from Chief Jared McIver, who was not in a council workshop Monday, Harrison told the Minden City Council that Tyler assured MPD they would be in compliance with National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and Louisiana Incident-Based Reporting System (LIBRS) where data is collected.

“The data is SUPPOSED to be automatically collected and sent to NIBRS and LIBRS,” the message from McIver read. “There are hundreds of millions of dollars in grant money for law enforcement – which fund cameras, bullet proof vests, license plate readers, software, vehicles and more.”

Harrison went on to read his statement saying MPD has missed out on this grant money over the years because they are not in compliance.

McIver requested the city council consider allowing Mayor Nick Cox to enter into a software service agreement with Kologik, LLC, a Baton Rouge-based company.

“They guarantee compliance with state and federal government,” he continued. “Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office uses Kologik and likes what their software offers.”

To have both law enforcement agencies using the same software will allow them to better communicate with one another.

McIver feels the money spent on this agreement will be returned “in a few years,” partly by allowing the department to apply for and receive grants.

Cox said the city’s IT department had been in touch with Tyler in an effort to resolve the issues.

“Now they just don’t call us back any more or they tell us ‘Louisiana is just too complicated for us,’” Cox said. “Kologik is really expensive but our point of view is that we can recapture some money in the form of savings and grants.”

“I’m good with it,” said District D Councilman Michael Roy. “I know the savings will be down the road. We’ve got to get it in and get it processing. If we are spending the money on bullet proof vests that only last so long, this takes something like that off the city’s financial burden. To me, it’s worth going in that direction.”

To outfit one patrol car can cost more than $20,000 and grant money would be an asset, the mayor said.

During Monday’s council meeting, Cox said he felt using Kologik is a good move. The council agreed, voting unanimously to allow Cox to enter into the agreement.