Stevens County Sheriff Jason Dingman. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

Two software programs used by Stevens County will be soon reaching their end of life, so at their regular meeting this week, the County Board of Commissioners approved upgrades. One is for the County’s website, at a cost of over $7,300 to get on a new platform. The unexpected expense is being paid for by reward dollars earned from a credit card account.

The second upgrade is for mapping software used by the Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management. The system is said to be more accurate than Google Maps at locating county addresses and includes a license to use in individual squad cars. Sheriff Jason Dingman told the Board that feature alone could be valuable for his deputies who, for example, spot smoke and would then be able to check immediately if there is a burn permit issued for the residence. Dingman said it would help other departments, as well.

“We can load every Fire personnel’s email address in there,” Dingman explained. “So, if a Fire icon is dropped in there, it will automatically email them a PDF picture of our map — not a Google map, but the actual map that Dispatch is using with the Red Line and the Turn by Turn directions from the Fire Hall.”

The software can also track where the deputies are and can see how fast they are going. It also has a measurement feature and can do a balloon radius graphic of, say, how far a substance leak is from a railroad track. Cost for the upgrade was tagged at over $23,000, with all but $6,400 paid for by a 9/11 Fund. The Commissioners approved the remainder to be paid for by the General Revenue fund.

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