Town Council allocates funds for police department technology

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The Eatonville Town Council met on Oct. 9, and approved several resolutions to support the Eatonville Police Department. These resolutions will allow the department to purchase new laptops, and enter into an extended technical support services agreement with South Sound 911.

Resolution 2023-KK allows the Eatonville Police Department to use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) — which was signed into law by the federal government during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — for the new equipment. The town of Eatonville received a total of $844,702 in ARPA funds.

“The laptops that we’ve been getting are surplus through Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. They were in service with that department an average of five to seven years, which in technology time, is ancient,” Chief Jason Laliberte said. “We did receive a new batch six months ago, and two of those have already failed.”

Laliberte said that the town attempted to implement an equipment replacement fund, but challenges popped-up which has created a lengthier process. The council unanimously passed Resolution 2023-KK.

The department is authorized to spend $26,308.59 from Eatonville’s ARPA funds to purchase six new laptops — one per office, and one backup. The Panasonic CF-33 Toughbooks cost about $3,128 each, and six premium keyboards for the laptop total $2,519.70. Service bundle with warranties is expected to cost another $2,628.42.

With all but one vote in favor, the council also passed Resolution 2023-LL. Councilmember Bill Dunn explained how the police department requires specific round-the-clock needs, which the current information technology provider — Blacksheep — is not meeting. Councilmember Dunn added that Blacksheep also fails to address issues in-person in a timely manner.

“They didn’t provide any assistance outside of a 9 to 5 day,” Laliberte said. “They were not as proficient with a lot of the programs that we use through South Sound 911.”

Laliberte explained how there were several instances where the Eatonville Police Department had to go directly to South Sound 911 and correct issues. A motion was added to include a $2,500 cap of the agreement for the 2023-2024 year, with an increase of five percent annually thereafter.


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