FC QC approves new firewall system for sheriff’s department computers

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Fulton County Quorum Court met in regular session on Monday, June 11. Two main items of the night addressed the sheriff’s department’s needs for another vehicle and a firewall for their computer system.

“Not too long back, we totaled two vehicles in one week,” said Sheriff Al Roork. “The highway department has some 2011 Crown Victoria’s available right now, for between $3,300-$3,400 each. They are highway police cars that have been maintained well. They have the lights, the console, the cage – everything is in them. I need you to buy me one of these cars, because right now we are short on cars. I have a new reserve officer over at Mammoth and I need him over there, and I need this car for him.”

The department currently has 11 units – one Crown Victoria, five older Durangos, three newer Durangos and two pick-up trucks. But the sheriff noted he has no spare vehicle for use, should a vehicle need to go into the shop for repairs.

During the treasurer’s report, it was noted that revenues are still down in comparison to last year, though a slight gain was made over the previous month. Court Clerk Vickie Bishop noted the county is due approximately $20,000 in reimbursement funds from the state to cover the costs for the elections held in May, but that would still leave the county well behind last year’s revenue for this time period.

Judge Darrell Zimmer pointed out that only $673.31 remained in the line item on the budget for purchase of police vehicles, and with revenues down, the JP’s felt the county could not approve both the firewall and the vehicle. “We’re not rolling in dough here,” Justice of the Peace Lynn Guffey stated.

Sheriff Roork noted he could use the funds from the 3017 line item in the budget - which includes funds given to the county by the state for the county housing state prisoners - as long as they make this purchase a transport vehicle for transporting state prisoners from the county jail to the state facilities, and for other transports. He also stated that the county is owed approximately $4,900 in funds for housing state prisoners, which should come in next month.

The JPs agreed the best course of action would be to take the $3,400 needed out of the 3017 fund, and a motion was made and passed to appropriate the funds thusly.

Next up was the much needed firewall for the department’s computer system.

“This firewall, which costs about $4,000, is really needed,” said Sheriff Roork. “This is being provided by Keystone. They are experts in security and are who the Association of Counties deals with. There’s a monthly $100 cost that my department can cover, but there have been departments in our area that have spent a lot of money to get their information back. I have social security numbers, witness reports and names on these files and just a lot of information that does not need to be stolen. Everything we’ve done for the last 13 years is on that system – that’s thousands and thousands of files. Sooner or later, something will happen if we don’t do this.”

Guffey asked how long it would take to set the system up, and Sheriff Roork said it would take approximately a week. The court members agreed the system was vital and approved the motion to appropriate the funds for the system.

Addressing the tragic death of a kayaker on the Spring River over the weekend, it was noted the county has placed buoys and sheriff’s tape all around the sinkhole, located just below Saddler Falls, to the left of Dead Man’s Curve. However, Judge Zimmer stated that locals in the area have noticed two additional spots that look as if they may also sink down.

The Corps of Engineers has declined to assist the county with dealing with the problem area, but Judge Zimmer said the Arkansas Natural Resources Council had agreed to come out and see if they can be of assistance, and he noted that Arkansas Game and Fish have also been very helpful in dealing with the situation. He also stated he has called all of the county’s representatives and senators to ask for their assistance in trying to remedy the situation before the big July 4th weekend.

The court also agreed to appropriate funds for two grants: $25,620 for the Sturkie Fire Department’s Rural Services Grant and $11,124.44 to cover the courtroom security uprgrades. Judge Zimmer noted the county had received a 100 percent grant to complete those upgrades.

Finally, Camp Fire Chief Bill Lowman advised the court that the Camp Fire Department would be holding a fish fry on June 16 at 4 p.m. at the department and is open to the community at large, to come out and meet the members of the department and enjoy a wonderful meal.

With that, the court adjourned. The Fulton County Quorum Court meets the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the courtroom located on the second floor of the county courthouse in Salem.

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