Council gives OK to technology upgrades

The Phenix City Council gave its OK Tuesday morning to purchases that will significantly upgrade the city's technology in areas from utilities to law enforcement.

The council approved up to $390,000 for the purchase of a geographic information system (GIS) for the city and several purchases for the Phenix City Police Department, including a crash data retrieval system.

City Manager Bubba Roberts said the purchase of the GIS from Burk-Kleinpeter Inc. represents a significant development for the city. "There are very few cities our size with this type of system," he said. "This can help us identify infrastructure features in area like subdivisions. It's going to be a very useful tool for the city."

Police Chief Brian McGarr said the acquisition of the Crash Data Retrieval System from I Got Hit LLC of Kirkland, Wash., for $5,115 and a Nikon NPL-352 Total Station Accident Investigation Tool for $9,995 from Visual Statement Inc., of Kamloops, B.C. would dramatically improve the department's ability to investigate accidents. The department had to depend on outside agencies in the past.

The council also gave its OK to purchasing a total of eight laptops for use in police cars, total cost of $21,044. The computers will allow police officers to write reports while still on the streets instead of returning to headquarters.