Conroe City Council discussed both requests at the June 12 workshop.
"They want you to buy a new phone every other month; technology changes so quickly," Conroe Mayor Toby Powell said. "We need to be on the front line and make sure we have the right equipment for you to be able to handle aiding our city in every way."
Conroe police Chief Jeff Christy said CentralSquare—a records-management system, or RMS, and computer-aided dispatch, or CAD, software—can handle reports, documents and call volume management along with facilitating information sharing between police and emergency medical services departments in nearby areas.
"We've had the old one since 1998, and as you know technology changes, and this type of system certainly has," Christy said. "The RMS system we use as a police department handles all our reports and documents. [The] CAD we use to manage all our calls throughout the day and manage where our officers are being sent."
Christy said the estimated software cost is around $1 million, but with financial help pledged from Montgomery County 911, the city of Conroe would pay 50% of the cost.
Conroe Director of Public Works Norm McGuire said his department has not upgraded software for years, either. His proposal costs $75,000 for the initial software upgrade along with a $16,000 annual user-support fee covering future upgrades and services from Iteris Inc. for traffic signal tactics software.
"Our software is out of date. Chief Christy spoke on technology earlier, and here's a repeat of that," McGuire said. "We have not upgraded our software for some while simply for the fact that technology hasn't required us to yet."
He said Conroe now has 116 intersections throughout the city.
"Most software pay by how many users you've got. This is very similar—it's how many intersections we've got," McGuire said. "It's time for us to upgrade our software."