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Pelham police to get new computers

PELHAM — The police department plans to replace its computers for the first time in over 10 years.

The Select Board this week added $2145 to the $1,500 it approved last year, to replace two station machines.

The board had initially allowed the department $1500 to buy a new administrative computer, which is used to complete police reports. The department, however, did not tap into these funds until it determined what type of upgrade would be needed for the second computer, which is used for running criminal records, said Lieutenant Kevin Fournier, who is in charge of the station’s technology. The department’s computer was rendered obsolete when the state recently began using new software for this purpose, he said.

Both computers will be replaced within the next couple weeks, said Police Chief Gary Thomann. The $3645 covers the cost of the new machines as well as labor, he said.

“They never ask for upgrades,” Select Board member Linda Michaud said before the motion was approved at the Monday meeting. “This is novel.”

Fournier said that in conversations with the IT company, Northeast IT Systems, Inc. in Southampton, he discussed the potential longevity of the new computers. “Are these computers going to be good for 10 years like the other computers were?” he asked

The select board, Fournier said, has been “very gracious” in making sure the department meets its technological needs.

“Even the police department is technology-driven,” he said. “The old days of pen and pencil reports are pretty much gone.”

In other police department business, the Select Board welcomed Sean Sawicki of Shutesbury, who has replaced Richard Downie as constable. Downie was promoted to patrolman in December.

Sawicki graduated from the Reserve Intermittent training academy located in Springfield.

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