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Donation equips Leet police with vital computer system

| Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, 10:48 a.m.

A $1,500 donation from the Watson Institute will help equip police cars in Leet with computer systems that will keep officers on the road informed of vital information.

“With this, when you're out in the car, the calls will come directly to the computer,” police Chief Bill Wanto said. “It's critical.”

The Leet Township Police Department, which is in Allegheny County along the Beaver County line, switched this year from Beaver County 911 operations to Allegheny County's system, Wanto said.

The municipality had been dispatched from the Beaver County system because the township's fire departments were as well.

However, after confusion arose with how the community would pay for the service in a neighboring county, Leet leaders opted to switch the police department to Allegheny County's 911 dispatch center this year, Wanto said.

“It was in the best interest of the community,” he said. “Unfortunately, we didn't budget for the equipment.”

For the last several months, the department's five full-time and several part-time officers have been operating without the mobile data terminals in their cars. Mobile data terminals are utilized by Allegheny County 911 dispatch to send updates and information to officers when they're on the road. Calls also can be received through the system.

“We've just been getting the faxes, communicating by phone,” Wanto said.

The donation from the Watson Institute will help the township purchase two mobile data terminals for their police vehicles. A third will be purchased for the police station so the officer can receive updates when they're not out on the road.

The department will budget for an additional mobile data terminal computer and mounting system for next year.

“This will get us by this year, then we're golden,” Wanto said.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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