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Funds to aid police departments in Grant County

Federal grant will help 'modernize' management system for crime records.

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Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 12:00 am

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. -- The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Police Department is sharing a $128,000 federal grant with seven Grant County law enforcement agencies.

The grant funds new technology that will help police departments provide crime statistics to state and federal agencies. The grant is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and distributed through the state Office of Justice Assistance.

"It enables us to modernize our record management system and, along with that, allows us to use a new statistical reporting method to the FBI," said Scott Marquardt, chief of the UW-Platteville Police Department. "It allows the law enforcement jurisdictions of Grant County to use the same record system."

The grant will be used to promote the Wisconsin Incident-Based Reporting System, a system designed to collect reliable and detailed criminal information used in law enforcement administration, operation and management. The grant will be split among the police departments of UW-Platteville and of Platteville, Cuba City, Dickeyville, Lancaster, Muscoda, Boscobel and Potosi. Each agency will receive $16,000 for the purchase and roll-out of the new system.

Grant County law enforcement agencies previously used the Uniform Crime Report to keep track of offenses and report the data to the FBI, but under that system, only the most serious of a string of

offenses was reported. If an offender was charged with a felony along with a misdemeanor for the same crime, the Uniform Crime Report would only count the felony and the misdemeanor would go unreported.

The new system "can count secondary crimes, which would make our statistical picture more complete," Marquardt said. "The new system will give our agencies and communities a better sense of what is happening within our county. It is also a better statistical way of tracking activity in our system, which can be used later when our agencies plan for resources and budgeting. It is a better system for day-to-day management of police records."

Grant County Sheriff Nate Dreckman praised Marquardt for taking the initiative to make use of grant monies to improve not only the UW-Platteville Police Department, but other departments that join in the grant application.

"This is not only good for the department, as it makes documentation easier, it is better for the respective communities as it makes the departments more accountable for their cases," Dreckman said.

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