BALLINGER – The Ballinger City Council approved an upgrade to the COPsync program following a presentation by the company's founder and CEO at the meeting Tuesday, Feb. 21.

BALLINGER – The Ballinger City Council approved an upgrade to the COPsync program following a presentation by the company’s founder and CEO at the meeting Tuesday, Feb. 21.

The COPsync Network connects law enforcement agencies so they can share mission-critical information and communicate in real-time. This helps protect citizens from violence and domestic terrorism. Community and officer security are increased with advance warnings of dangerous people and real -time notification of crimes in progress.

The Ballinger Police Department has been on the COPsync network since 2014. On Tuesday, the council approved $90,000 for the upgrade of the system, which includes new military grade computers for each of the department’s patrol cars, hardware and software, installation, maintenance and technical support. The council also approved $38,000 to be spent to outfit the Ballinger fire Department with the computers and technology.

Last month Runnels County Commissioners approved the acquisition of COPsync. In addition, the Winters police department recently approved the system. The Miles Police Department has been on the network since 2011.

Founder and CEO Russell Chaney made the presentation to the panel.

“You all are in a blessed area now that all of the law enforcement agencies in Runnels County are on this software,” Chaney said. “The San Angelo Police Department is the only agency that is not on the software in this area.”

The computers that were installed in the Ballinger P.D. units were used when they were purchased, Chaney reminded the panel.

“And you got three years of use out of them,” Chaney said.

The new computers that will be installed in the Ballinger police cars have only been available for seven months, Chaney said. The computers will also include a GPS system where each police car can be tracked at all times.

Ballinger Police Chief Stanley Maresch, said the new computers will help with the constant technology issues.

“We’ve had COPsync for a while – what was approved was upgrading our equipment to newer technology, it will help with our issues,” Maresch said. “I am very glad that the sheriff’s office got on board it will help streamline communication between dispatch and us along with every other officer in the county.”

Councilman Phillip Arp made the motion to approved the purchase and the council approved it unanimously.

During his report to the council, City Manager Bryan Grimes said that the city will be spending about $60,000 to put new filters in the Reverse Osmosis units at the city’s water plant.

Grimes reminded the panel that both of the city’s lakes are 100 percent full, thanks to recent rains.

With that in mind, he said city crews are about to embark on some improvements to the lake, in the way of boat docks.

“I have been approached by some folks to do some improvements to the lake,” Grimes said, adding that boating will be allowed.

Grimes reminded the panel of a meeting that he will be having with Atmos Energy regarding the replacement of gas lines throughout the city.

He also said that some street paving projects will be underway soon.