Shores scout vehicles to get new computers

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 6, 2018

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — As computer users know, as soon as you buy a new computer, it’s already outdated because the technology is always changing.

So a computer that’s nearly a decade old is practically a dinosaur, as technology goes. That’s why the Grosse Pointe Shores Public Safety Department is happy to be replacing its old in-car computers with new laptop models.

“The computers in the scout cars are eight years old and continue to go down,” Shores Public Safety Director John Schulte told the Shores City Council during a meeting Jan. 16.    

The units cost roughly $3,600 apiece, and the city needs to purchase four — for each of its marked police vehicles, Schulte said. Although funds for the new computers aren’t in the public safety budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, Schulte said they would be able to use money for the purchase from a donor — a Grosse Pointe Shores woman who wishes to remain anonymous.

The donor, whose gift was praised by Schulte and other Shores leaders, has made several substantial contributions to the department, although officials didn’t say how much her gifts totaled.

“We’re very appreciative,” said Schulte of the resident’s gift.

He said she’s a longtime Shores resident who has been very supportive of the Public Safety Department.

After the meeting, Schulte said he planned to order the new computers in January. He said the models the department had been using are the original in-car computers.

“In eight-and-a-half years, you can imagine the technology changes,” Schulte said.

As they’ve aged, the computers have needed “more and more service,” he explained.

Although the computers are laptops, Schulte said officers won’t be able to take them out of the vehicles to use elsewhere, as they’ll be mounted inside the vehicles. The new computers will not only have more modern features, but they’ll also be faster, he said.

After the meeting, Mayor Ted Kedzierski said new equipment is important to maintaining the quality of the department, which is the oldest public safety department in the country.

“It keeps the department a leading-edge department,” he said.