Spokane police soon will spend less time pushing paper and more time patrolling the streets.
Chief Terry Mangan said Thursday the department will receive nearly $850,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice. The money is earmarked to pay for new record-keeping computers and hire 19 new technicians to run them.
The money will hire 12 project clerks, six temporary employees, a training coordinator and buy the software and hardware necessary to implement the new records program.
There is enough cash to pay for the new employees for a full year, Mangan said, although the department hopes to phase in the workers a few at a time over the next few years.
All of the employees won’t be needed when the project is up and running two or three years from now, he said.
“There’s a lot of flexibility built into this,” he said. “That’s one of the things that’s so nice about it.”
The money also will pay for more radio equipment, upgraded computers for patrol cars and enhancement of the department’s Web site and home page on the Internet.
No new officers will be hired with the money, but Mangan said the results of the program “will be the equivalent of adding 10-12 officers to the force” because they won’t have to do as much paperwork.
The new computer equipment and records technicians will cut down immensely on the time it takes officers to file their incident and arrest reports, Mangan said.