Murphysboro, IL Police Department finds new income source

MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - After some research of Illinois state municipal codes, Chief of Police in Murphysboro, Chad Roberts, found out the department was allowed to charge $20 to every individual posting bail.

This is money he says can be used to purchase some much-needed technology upgrades for the police.

Chief Roberts estimates the new fee will bring in $6,000 to $9,000 a year. He said the money will mostly be allocated to buying a new electronic fingerprint scanning system. This new technology will make processing suspects much more efficient and use less man-power, according to Chief Roberts.

He said he has wanted to modernize this aspect of the department for some time.

"The live scan system allows us to directly communicate with the State Police and the FBI through digital fingerprint imaging as opposed to a paper card system which we've been using for years."

When Chief Roberts brought his municipal code findings to the City Council, two of the 10 council members objected to all the money brought in from the new fee. Gary McComb was one of them and he says he would rather have the money go into the city's general fund.

"We got a lot of streets that need repair, and you know all that comes out of your general fund. You budget for it but you can't always stay in the budget."

In the end, the city council agreed to let the police department keep all the money from the bond fees, 8 in favor and 2 opposed.

The new fingerprint scanner isn't the only upgrade coming to the department.

Three months ago, Chief Roberts received a grand from State Farm for more than $40,000 which was used to put new laptops in all the patrol cars and replace one-third of the station's desktop computers, according to Roberts.

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