LOCKPORT - The Woodward Township supervisors are on board for a Clinton County-wide law enforcement sharing system.
Now, it just needs approval from other county municipalities.
The supervisors, at their meeting Tuesday night, unanimously agreed to enter into the "Law Enforcement Interoperability and Communications Project," which is being funded by a $398,200 competitive grant won by the county from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
The hardware-software installation and set up of the network is designed to create a Better Automation and Sharing by Law Enforcement (BASLE) system to provide laptop computers and software so local departments can share arrest and other criminal records immediately.
The county commissioners last year unanimously approved a $282,870 software contract with CODY Systems for the software to facilitate the initiative.
The first year of the system's use will be covered through a grant.
However, years two through six will be shared by municipalities that use the system.
That caused some concern with township Solicitor Bob O'Connor that Woodward and other participating municipalities may be caught holding the bag if other municipalities opt out of the agreement.
O'Connor said that concern was eased after a recent meeting with county Solicitor Larry Coploff.
The Woodward agreement will limit the township's liability to $3,156 a year, which is for two computer systems in the township and 21 users throughout the county, O'Connor said.
He said he has talked to several law enforcement officials who strongly urged each township with a police department enter into the program.
CODY systems include records, dispatch, case management, intelligence analysis, mobile records field field-reporting and cross-platform data-sharing, among other efforts.
When the system is up and running in mobile units, officers will be able to share real-time reports as they were being entered into the system, and provide valuable information about suspicious activities and crime patterns that go beyond municipal borders.
The system also allows for more security in police communications because it offers communications between computers rather than "over the air" via radio communications that could be caught by scanners.
In a related note, Supervisor Clyde Glossner said he talked to Dunnstable Township supervisors who may be interested in contracting police coverage from Woodward Township for eight to 10 hours a week at $55 an hour.
That township is currently served by the Pine Creek Township Police Department, but Glossner said Woodward may make more sense because the two townships are closer neighbors and share roads that have increasing numbers of speeders.
"We feel that, with the people we have (in the police department) and them being next door neighbors, we can do it. It would be advantageous to us," Glossner said, noting problem areas for Dunnstable are German, Cider Press, Island and Big and Little Plum Run roads, and Route 150.
"We decided if they want us, we're going to help them out," Glossner added. "They are next door neighbors and we are able to do it It would be mostly for speed control."
He said Dunnstable has about 16 to 17 miles of road to patrol, which could take about an hour.
Glossner said the Pine Creek police are negotiating with Dunnstable to keep them as a customer, and Dunnstable supervisors could decide in April on which direction they'll go.
Police Chief Steve Falotico reported his department had 20 traffic and one criminal arrest last month. The department also served four warrants, issued 17 written warnings and 21 verbal warnings, conducted two commercial truck inspections, investigated four traffic accidents, and drove 1,835 miles.