County Sheriff’s Department to get new dashcam server

Staff Writer

A network server at the Morrison County Sheriff’s Department is being replaced, after it was discovered it was no longer automatically backing up dashcam footage.

The server was replaced in 2012, and is now at its end of life point, according to the manufacturer, Sheriff Shawn Larsen said.

The extended maintenance on the server ran out in 2014, and three weeks ago, when the Sheriff’s Department called the manufacturer, L3 Mobile Vision, and asked if it could help fix the server, Larsen got an expensive quote back.

The cost of having the company fix the server — $125 an hour.

Commissioner Randy Winscher asked if the updates that came with the plan were all that important if the Department survived three years without them.

County Administrator Deb Gruber said it might have worked out this time, but the county could have had a major issue if they had needed footage from a specific incident and it wasn’t there.

“This is stuff we need to have access to,” Gruber said.

The county’s Information and Technology Department has been involved in the process, but is not allowed by the manufacturer into the operating systems of the server.

At the Board’s planning meeting, Aug. 15, Larsen said the department had been manually downloading footage from the squad cars’ SD cards onto a computer.

Normally, once the vehicles get to the Sheriff’s Department, two devices automatically download the data from the cars and put it on the server.

“Now it’s not doing it,” Larsen said.

For one thing, the Department is not sure if all of the data is getting from the SD cards to the computer, and they don’t know how long this can keep going, he said.

“We’re in desperate need to replace it,” Larsen said.

The $42,000 package, which includes the server, maintenance, new devices to download the footage and more, would be paid for out of the Sheriff Department’s reserve funds so as to keep this from impacting the levy, Larsen said.

Commissioner Jeffrey Jelinski asked if there was sufficient funding to cover the purchase.

The reserves are healthy, Larsen said, but they could look at budgeting this in the future if the Board chose to go in that direction.

Ever since the Department first purchased the server in 2005, Larsen said, it has been paid for by reserve funds.

The Board unanimously approved the purchase Tuesday.