Atlantic City will seek bids for the person who will help lead the massive upgrades to the Police Department's antiquated technology.
City Council unanimously approved the resolution to search for a project manager, which will finally clear the way to spend $3.5 million from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
The money was awarded nearly two years ago, but only $17,500 has been spent to pay for the tip411 system in the city that allows an anonymous, two-way text conversation between police and tipsters.
The rest has been awaiting the project manager whom leaders deemed necessary to spend the money appropriately.
The bids will be open Aug. 13.
First on the list for the new manager will be restructuring the current records-management system and computer-assisted dispatch, which is how dispatchers log calls.
The funds also could provide cameras that allow police to see what's happening from their cars and a system that quickly computes crime trends. The department is currently unable to do either.
"It's vitally importantly both symbolically and substantively," Mayor Lorenzo Langford said. "It shows all our efforts are starting to bear fruit."
Three months ago, requests for qualifications for the position were received, with eight responses, including just one local company: Northfield's Perfect Solutions Inc. Companies beyond those would be allowed to bid.
Also at the meeting was the announcement that the Police Department is now accredited, which means it exceeds set standards, said Harry Delgado of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, the independent agency that accredits departments.
Only one-third of police departments in the state are accredited, making Atlantic City "not only one of the best departments in the state, but one of the best in the nation," Delgado said.
"To see this department receive this type of accolade gives me great pride as mayor," Langford said.
The mayor noted that this comes less than three years after "we as a city and Police Department were in a state of turmoil" as 60 police officers were laid off due to budget cuts.
"Everybody worked hard to get this done," Police Chief Ernest Jubilee said. "It's very important as the Police Department moves forward."
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