University donating used computers to Mississippi law enforcement agencies
The extension service, which is the off-campus educational arm of Mississippi State University, noted that the computers will help beef up communication and information-sharing capabilities among Mississippi emergency response agencies, particularly in small towns that lack the resources to purchase such equipment.
According to the extension service, priority will be given to agencies with no computers. Agencies with outdated models will receive second priority, and those remaining will be considered based on assessment information that they submitted.
“Extension’s statewide network has been extensively upgraded in the past year,” said MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Vice President Vance Watson. “I can’t think of a better way to encourage agencies to gather and share information than by making it possible for them to do so by donating the computers.”
The extension service said that it is partnering with the Mississippi Analysis and Information Center (MSAIC) and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to distribute desktop and laptop computers. The computers will be distributed through the extension’s 82 county offices.
According to Dan Brook, head of Extension Computer Applications and Services, some local agencies already have started using the computers that they received.
“MSAIC is polling local emergency and law enforcement agencies around the state so we can transfer the equipment at the local level,” Brook said.
The Mississippi Department of Homeland Security established the MSAIC as a clearinghouse for federal, state and local entities to share intelligence information.
“Connectivity will improve our ability to operate within a central location to protect our citizens,” said Elmo Collum, extension disaster recovery preparedness coordinator. “We can mark and then track a pattern of activity that will provide clues or offer a solution to a problem.”
Law enforcement and emergency management agencies can contact the county extension office for more information on the donated computers.