Beaver Dam and sheriff still negotiating Spillman project

February 24, 2017 GMT

Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt is only two communities away from creating a county-wide records management system for law enforcement. One of the two communities is Beaver Dam.

Dodge County agreed to replace New World, its public safety record management system, to Spillman Technology in the fall of 2015.

Spillman will provide computer hardware, software, maintenance services and support services for a little more than $1 million. The system will be used for dispatch, corrections and records management. It has been a hope for the police and the sheriff’s office for many years. The system will not go live until Jan. 1, with payments being made on three dates while the system is put in place.

But Beaver Dam and Theresa still have not agreed to become part of the county-wide system, Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said at the county board meeting Wednesday.

“The annual maintenance fee is about $130,000,” Schmidt wrote in a letter to the board. “This annual maintenance fee is in line with previous fees for similar systems and had we continued with New World that annual maintenance fee would also be nearing that dollar amount.”

Fifteen of the 17 agencies in Dodge County have signed on.

“As part of those negotiations, the city of Beaver Dam has requested that future maintenance, beginning in 2019, be paid from Dodge County sales tax,” Schmidt said. “These negotiations are ongoing.”

The Dodge County Board voted 19 to 10 against using more than $29,000 from the sales tax to go toward the maintenance of the program. Many board members said the sales tax was meant to be used for building projects, and not for something like maintenance of a software package.

Police Chief John Kreuziger said the city of Beaver Dam does not have a problem paying its fair share, but finds problems with the maintenance and training fees that have been suggested.

Kreuziger said that Schmidt has been meeting with him, BD Mayor Tom Kennedy and BD city attorney Maryann Schacht.

“There is nothing wrong with the software,” Kreuziger said. “It will be good for Dodge County.”

Kreuziger said that Beaver Dam has used New World in its squads for the last few years and still uses its old record management program at $7,000 per year after hearing about concerns about the New World program.

Installation of New World in Dodge County began in summer 2013, replacing a system that had been used since 2000. Complaints about the software began before the system was fully implemented. Many updates have caused additional problems.

The training that is scheduled will cost all the municipalities $52,000 with full-time department employees costing $720 and part-time employees costing $360. Employees who work part-time for other agencies are not required to do so twice.

Beaver Dam has 37 full-time employees who would need to be trained at a cost of $26,640. Kreuziger said 13 of the Beaver Dam officers also work part-time for other agencies in Dodge County but there is nothing written in the contract about payment back to Beaver Dam.

“He thinks it is my responsibility to go back to the part-time agencies and work out an agreement,” Kreuziger said.

He was also told that they couldn’t just send a few officers there to learn the program, Kreutiger said.

“He wants to make sure everyone gets training first in order to get it right,” Kreuziger said.

“We have New World in our patrol vehicles,” Kreuziger said. “However, with all the New World problems we did not want to convert all our old records over to New World, so we kept Cisco (for that purpose only).”

For New World, Beaver Dam would have had to pay $4,350 in 2016-’17. The fee for Spillman would be $14,280.

In 2019 and subsequent years each department will be charged $280 per computer, with Beaver Dam having 57 computers.

“Without knowing what will happen with this software, we will have to keep Cisco up and running,” Kreutziger said. “It’s $7,000 (half) to keep our current system.”

“We want to work out an agreement on the training and maintenance costs,” Kreutziger said. “We have to be good stewards of the taxpayer money to negotiate a fair agreement.”

Both the sheriff and the police chief said they will be meeting in the future to discuss the program.