HULBERT - The Hulbert Board of Trustees, during a Jan. 14 meeting, approved the purchase of an Offender Data Information System that could clear up skepticism for prosecutors.

Acting Police Chief Carl Smith explained how the system works and why it’s needed.

“Not only is it a reporting system, but it will do electronic citations, and it will cover the court clerk,” said Smith. “We have a problem with the [district attorney] accepting our charges. I’ve talked to them and they don’t like our reporting system that we use.”

Smith said the DA’s Office wants the Hulbert Police Department to update and upgrade to be more computerized.

“[It’s] $7,300 and that’s like if we purchased in June, but right now, it’s pro-rated. The purchase price would be $5,200, and then in August, we would pay $1,500 for the annual support,” said Smith.

Officers would be able to write tickets on their work iPads.

“We would have to purchase two printers and two license scanners,” said Smith. “The printers would be $1,615 for two, and the license scanners would be about $600 for two of them. That would put us around $7,500 for everything if we were to purchase it now.”

Trustee Tristan Brave supported the purchase, while Trustee Jim Morgan – a former police chief – said it was cost-prohibitive. Mayor Shirley Teague made a motion, while Brave seconded. Morgan voted against it.

The board discussed towing and wrecker options and a possible rotation system for HPD. However, Morgan said no law states they have to do the rotation.

“We came about this because we had to wait so long on the county rotation to get here,” said Morgan. “I called the Department of Public Safety and they said that we are a city [and] we can use our own wrecker with anyone within the city limits. It’s worked for us pretty well before, and as far as I’m concerned, we’ll keep doing that.”

Devin Gordon, owner and operator of Cherokee County Wrecker Service, was asked by Brave to attend the meeting, but he was not told the reasoning for his being there.

“Once upon a time, I had the opportunity to build a lot within the city limits and I was advised not to do it,” said Gordon. “I don’t understand why we don’t have a fair chance to compete over here.”

Smith informed Gordon that he would be competing on a small number of tows.

“What you’re competing on, [for] the month of December, [there were] three impounds,” said Smith.

In other business, Smith reported the HPD logged three county calls, one arrest, and three vehicle impoundments.

The board gave its nod to a resolution for a notice of election for two trustee positions and the unexpired term for the clerk/treasurer position. Long-time Clerk Leona Welch passed away in late December.

Out of 77 total contacts, 27 citations were issued.

What’s next

The regular meeting of Hulbert Board of Trustees is Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Hulbert Town Hall building.

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