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Council to consider sharing crime data with area law enforcement
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Stanislaus County law enforcement agencies may become more closely linked Tuesday, as the Turlock City Council will consider an agreement which would see the Turlock Police Department share records management system data countywide.
The data sharing would come through the introduction of new Internet-based crime analysis and records management software, known as CopLink.
The CopLink system allows interconnected agencies to share information. Currently, the system would only tie in to regional databases, but eventually would connect statewide.
According to the staff report on the issue, better intercommunication between law enforcement agencies is "essential" as criminals have become more mobile. By sharing information, law enforcement may be able to better conduct knowledge-based policing and suppress crimes before they can occur. A mapping and analysis subsystem in CopLink would help police identify where and when different types of crimes occur.
Already, the Modesto Police Department and Stanislaus County Sheriff's Departments share a CopLink system, and the California State University, Stanislaus Police Department is in the process of joining the node.
The Ceres Police Department has agreed to join the node as well, at a cost of $48,409, and the Turlock Police Department was able to partner with Ceres for a further $10,000. The City of Ceres paid that full $10,000 upfront cost, out of a desire to add Turlock's records to the system.
Turlock would be asked to pay one-half of the annual $7,000 maintenance fee to partner with Ceres, or $3,500 annually. Current funding sources would cover the cost, according to the staff report.
Should council approve the agreement, the CopLink system could to go online in Turlock in a matter of weeks.

On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council is also expected to:
• Approve a $162,020 contract to produce an Americans with Disabilities Act self-evaluation and transition plan, which describes how City of Turlock facilities, programs, policies, and practices should change to better accommodate the disabled.
Such a plan is required under the federal law. Turlock last completed a transition plan in 1997, but that plan will expire in fall.
The work would be carried out by Sally Swanson Architects, Inc., of San Francisco.
• Approve a $6,572.87 cost increase for construction on the $1.6 million Turlock Transit Hub. The increase comes due to extra costs to remove unforeseen buried facilities and a diseased redwood tree, and is available in the project contingency budget.
• Ratify the city's federal grant application for $500,000 toward the purchase of a new fire engine. The new engine would replace a 1999 fire engine, which is nearing the end of its service life. A new engine will cost approximately $550,000.
• Issue a proclamation in honor of Parks and Recreation Month, July 2012.
• Recognize the retirement of long-time city employee Richard Berru, an Electrical Mechanical Technician II.
• Appoint members to the reformed Turlock City Arts Commission. The commission was revised by council in May to include seven members with two alternates; it previously had 15 regular members. As part of the revision, all members were required to reapply for the commission if they so chose.
• Hear updates on National Night Out, set for Aug. 7, ongoing capital projects, and vacancies on Turlock boards, commissions, and committees.
• Finalize an update to the Turlock Municipal Code which more clearly defines the responsibilities of homeowners in the maintenance of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, curb cuts, and driveway approaches.
The update, recommended by the Central San Joaquin Valley Risk Management Authority, does not substantively change existing obligations, which calls for property owners to maintain sidewalks and holds property owners liable for any injury which may occur.
• Complete the process to pass the responsibility to approve dance hall permits, fortunetelling permits, and introduction, dating, and escort service permits to the Chief of Police. Currently, both Turlock Police and the Turlock City Council must approve such permits annually.
• Finalize an update to the City of Turlock's car towing regulations. The amendment is said to streamline and condense the language, while altering Turlock's code to mirror laws enforced by the California Highway Patrol.
The amendment would also require tow operators to tow cars to a yard located in Turlock. Currently, Anderson's Towing tows cars to Ceres, and the owner says the new restriction may force him out of business.
• Complete the alteration of the Turlock Municipal Code to more clearly explain the City of Turlock's process to transfer surplus or unused equipment between departments, or to sell such goods. The clarification would spell out the City Manager as responsible.
• Conduct an annual performance evaluation of City Attorney Phaedra Norton in closed session.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.