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Jefferson City Police Department in need of technology upgrades

The Jefferson City Police Department is looking for some state assistance to improve its technology.

The department is currently in the process of trying to get two grants from the Missouri Homeland Security Program.

The grants totaling just under $25,000 would help improve communication and help catch criminals, according to officers.

Not only that, but the grants would help lessen the tax burden for local residents, according to Capt. Eric Wilde with the Jefferson City Police Department.

JCPD uses MOSWIN, or Missouri State Statewide Information Network, radios to communicate with other agencies in the state.

“We currently dispatch for the Cole County Sheriff’s Department on that channel,” Wilde said. “The Missouri State Highway Patrol and Troop F communicate on those channels as well as capitol police and Lincoln University.”

Right now, the police department only has one base, or main, MOSWIN radio in its 911 center and a few mobile radios.

The $8,900 grant would help buy another base unit for the backup dispatch center that is currently using one mobile radio.

Eventually, Wilde said the department would like to have a mobile MOSWIN radio in every patrol vehicle to communicate with other departments.

“If we’re in a situation where they can’t talk car-to-car, say with Cole County Sheriff’s, we’ve got to relay it through the communication center, so it presents a little bit of a time delay,” Wilde said.

JCPD is also in the process of getting a license plate reader under a more than $15,400 terrorism prevention grant.

The department only has two readers installed on patrol cars right now, but the readers have already helped make numerous arrests, according to Wilde.

“If we’re looking for a specific vehicle, we can find them pretty quick because we can go in and look into that data and see where that vehicle is,” Wilde said. “So it’s technology that helps us to easier find people that are evading the law.”

The Jefferson City Council is set to accept the grant for the license plate reader at it’s council meeting next Monday.

The police department will begin applying for the MOSWIN radio grant in the near future.

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