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Hampton police complying with federally mandated computer overhaul

| Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Police departments across the nation, including in Hampton Township, are federally required to adopt and implement a computer system update that is meant to protect personal records and other information.

The Hampton Township Police Department is in its first year of a system update that will keep it in compliance with the federal Criminal Justice Information Systems security program, said Hampton Township police Chief Tom Vulakovich. This is an ongoing goal which focused on the preliminary work for this update in 2017. Next year, will be considered year two of the five-year installation program.

Like most police departments, Hampton Township's police have access to a variety of personal records such as driver licenses, registration, wanted persons information, and other secure records, Vulakovich said. But it's not necessarily on a separate server from the rest of the township, and the CJIS would change that as a means to protect information, he said.

Council President Victor Son explained that these federal guidelines are designed to separate the operations of all police departments from any other operation of a city. And it's a serious a mandate.

“Any police department that refuses to comply with the federal guidelines are threatened to be locked out of the justice systems records. That would include things as trivial as running a license plate,” said Son.

Along with this and the ancillary costs related to the equipment, they are also required to have mapping documents for compliance issues, Son said.

Vulakovich said law enforcement personnel are required to have clearances on a variety of levels, such as entering their building. This is an added level of support.

Total projected cost of the work for just 2017 is $122,871, said Son.

Son provided a breakdown of these projected costs including: $39,600 for professional services; an estimated $17,720 on software costs for auditing, monitoring, updating, security; $14,400 for capital outlay or the re-wiring of the police building network; $6,000 for the retrofitting of the police bathroom into a secure server room and migrating server infrastructure; $42,997 for servers, storages, rack, switches, and firewall; and $2,100 for other miscellaneous costs.

The 2018 budget is set to dedicate $90,000 toward this project, said Son.

Council listed the CJIS update as one of its eight 2018 Budgetary Goals and Objectives earlier this year.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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