Oroville Police get better connected

OROVILLE – Oroville Police Chief Todd Hill requested a change in cell phone service and equipment at the Nov. 3...

Officer Frank Kouteliers demonstrates one of the Panasonic Tough Books installed in an Oroville Patrol Car. Officers can now do data searches online using one of three wifi hotspots recently purchased by the OPD. Gary DeVon/staff photo
Officer Frank Kouteliers demonstrates one of the Panasonic Tough Books installed in an Oroville Patrol Car. Officers can now do data searches
online using one of three wifi hotspots recently purchased by the OPD. Gary DeVon/staff photo

OROVILLE – Oroville Police Chief Todd Hill requested a change in cell phone service and equipment at the Nov. 3 council meeting that will help his officer’s stay better connected when out on patrol.

Hill requested a switch to Verizon from AT&T Mobile and while the switch marks an increase of $60 to $210 a month for service it comes with more connectivity, according to Chief Hill.

“That gets us five flip phones and three mobile hot spots for the patrol cars,” said Hill, who added that the hot spots will allow the officers to use laptop computers in the patrol cars to search police data basis.

Hill said the hot spots will be combined with the Panasonic Tough Books with touch screens that the department recently purchased from the Bellingham Police Department. Hill said the used laptops were purchased at a deep discount and have military grade protection for durability.

In other business, the council adopted both a resolution setting the 2016 property tax levy for the city, as well as the 2016 property tax levy for the EMS District.

Mayor Chuck Spieth appointed Santo Gutierrez to the Oroville Housing Authority and the council approved of the appointment. Gutierrez will take the position recently held by Linda Schwilke, who stepped down from the OHA board.

“I spoke with him tonight and he is quite enthused about it. I think he’d be a good appointment,” said Mayor Spieth.

The council also had no issues with a request from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board regarding the renewal of the liquor license applications for Frontier Foods and Quick Mart.

Lastly, Councilwoman Neysa Roley had a request.

“I’d like to see what it takes to be able to get a drop-off box for ballots in Oroville like they have in Tonasket,” she said.

“Are you volunteering to take them down?” asked Spieth, explaining that a drop box requires someone deliver the ballots down to the county courthouse.

He said the city itself would not want that responsibility.

The meeting was nearly another record breaker, taking just nine minutes to complete the council’s business. It was, however over twice as long as the previous council meeting which last for four minutes.

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