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HUBBARD Police reports not in system



Published: Thu, February 7, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Hubbard's safety director wants to increase the pay of police data clerks.

By TIM YOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

HUBBARD -- Police reports are stacking up rather than being computerized since the city's data clerks left for better-paying jobs.

During the past year, the city has hired two data clerks, paying them $7.75 per hour. They learned the computer system and then quit, said Robert Paternini, city safety director.

Paternini said he believes data clerks should be paid between $12.50 and $15 hourly to retain them.

The last clerk left about a month ago.

Paternini said the reports that haven't been computerized are "piling up to the ceiling."

"Someone has to be hired," he said, noting that whoever does the work will be "swamped" because of the backlog of reports.

How it works: The system developed by EmergiTech Inc. of Reynoldsburg allows for the retrieval of data, such as routine reports, witness statements and traffic violations. For example, if police are called to a residence, the dispatcher can provide information about previous calls.

EmergiTech is also used to provide information to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

"It's not an easy system to use," said Paternini. "It's not user-friendly."

Paternini said data clerks must be accurate and patient to computerize the information.

"It's only as good as the information put in it," the safety director said. "It requires skills to do this."

Although the reports are difficult to put into the system, the data is easily retrieved.

The purchase: Paternini explained the system was purchased by the city about seven years ago because the state safety department was grumbling that it wasn't getting enough data from local police departments.

At the time, Paternini said, EmergiTech was the only system available.

Councilman William Williams, D-at large, said at a Monday city council caucus session that lawmakers were told the computer system was the best of its kind when purchased.

Paternini, who is familiar with computers, said the system remained idle until about a year ago after he was named safety director. The system has been up and running for a year.

Paternini explained dispatchers, who are familiar with the system, can't computerize the reports and do their regular duties at the same time.

Police officers won't do the work, Paternini stressed, because they are being paid for patrol duty.

Chuck it? Councilwoman Bonnie Viele, D-1st, questioned if a different system is needed.

"I'm not opposed to chucking the whole package," Paternini said, noting he is looking for a possible replacement.

yovich@vindy.com




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