When the Public Safety Operations and Training Center opens in December the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, part of the Texas Attorney Generals Office Cyber Crimes Unit, could be sharing space with the Georgetown Police Department in the facility.
City Council approved moving forward with a space-sharing agreement at its Sept. 9 meeting.
The five-year agreement would allow the task force to have about 3,600 square feet of office space, including a computer forensics lab, in the PSOTC. In lieu of paying rent, the task force would provide computer forensic services for all of GPD cases that require them, Police Chief Wayne Nero said.
Right now we do not have the capacity to do that. Most cases, if we can make the case without that, we just dont do it or we send the case to [the Department of Public Safety] or Round Rock provided they have the time, Nero said. Sometimes the turn around is very quick other times it can take a while, depending on their caseload.
Along with providing those services, the task force would also train GPD investigators on the job, he said.
Several of our investigators, depending on what kind of crimes they investigate, up to 50 percent of their cases can involve some type of technology where this would be a direct benefit to the city of Georgetown, Nero told the council.
The attorney generals office would be responsible for any improvements to the office space, including furnishing the space and providing equipmentwhich will be required to meet the design standards of the rest of the building, he said.
At the end of the agreement the furniture and equipment will become the citys property, Nero said.
With what they do, the computer forensic ability and the ability to train our staff for a short period of timefive yearsI dont see our growth getting into that much space where this doesnt make sense for us, he said. We think this is a win-win solution where we both would benefit.
Either party could terminate the agreement within the five-year term with 120 day notice. At that time, the city would also have the option to purchase the furniture and equipment at a prorated cost, Nero said.
Nero said the partnership would also allow the city to access grant funding with the attorney generals offices help.
[It] seems like we get a lot of benefits from this deal, City Councilwoman Rachael Jonrowe said.
The final agreement will be brought back to City Council for final approval at a later date.