CPD recognized by Canadian technology magazine

Published 5:20 pm Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Clanton Police Department has been making headlines for their technology upgrades, and not just locally.

A Canadian technology magazine, ITWorldCanada, recently interviewed Sgt. Neil Fetner about the department’s latest technological improvements.

Fetner was hired to implement, manage and upgrade CPD’s information technology and records management system with funds from two federal grants totaling more than $250,000.

The article concerns network security and highlights a piece of equipment, the ASTARO, that CPD uses to allow officers to file reports, access records, issue citations, check email, communicate with instant messaging, receive calls for service from 911 and share data with agencies throughout the state electronically from their patrol cars.

“With these upgrades we are able to keep officers in the field longer,” said CPD Chief Brian Stilwell. “[It will] reduce the amount of time they spend in the police department doing paperwork.”

Despite not having a large budget, CPD manages to be on par technologically through partnerships with Southern Software, Verizon Wireless, Southern Linc, Pinnacle Networks and the ASTARO.

“Large agencies in the state spend millions and millions of dollars building a proprietary network to handle all its communication and IT needs,” Stilwell said. “That kind of expense is prohibitive to smaller agencies like Clanton, so we developed partnerships and have accomplished the same goals for far less money. Just because we are considered a small agency in Alabama does not mean we cannot be leaders in this state.”

Stilwell was quick to thank those who helped make the network possible.

“I must thank Mayor Driver and the Clanton City Council, Sgt. Fetner and all my staff for its help in making this project a success,” he said.