SPRINGFIELD – The State of Illinois will deliver hundreds of high-end government-surplus computers to law enforcement agencies in Louisiana who are trying to recover from floodwaters that deluged the Gulf Region after Hurricane Katrina.
Starting at about 1 p.m. this afternoon, Department of Central Management Services workers will load up a truck with the first shipment, totaling about 175 processors and monitors, at the Federal Surplus Property Warehouse, 1924 South 10 ½ Street in Springfield. The truck carrying the shipment will leave early Friday morning for Louisiana.
The computers, containing 1.4 - 1.7 GHz Pentium chips, were made available specifically from the U.S. military under a national surplus program. CMS picked up the shipment from Scott Air Force Base, unloaded them in the warehouse and removed the hard drives. A representative from the National Law Enforcement Technology Center has been working at the warehouse to reinstall the operating systems and load them up with software so that they will be immediately ready for use by Louisiana police.
“Many Louisiana police officers had to pour water out of their computers when they got back into their stations after Hurricane Katrina,” said Paul Campbell, Acting Director of CMS. “We’re glad to offer whatever help we can so that the police there can maintain public safety.”
Generally, police departments rely on PCs for the most basic report writing and data collection. While much attention has gone to basic replacement of critical life, health, and human services and food commodities, attention now focuses on cleanup, as police agencies in those Gulf states hit by Hurricane Katrina are desperately seeking ways to collect and analyze criminal data, information and reports in order to carry out their law enforcement duties.
Dozens of police agencies in that state lost all data-processing equipment, according to Eddie Guidry, the Louisisana State Coordinator of the Law Enforcement Support Office.
For example, the Lake Charles Police Department in the Parish of Calcasieu (pronounced “Kal-ka-shew”) lost all of their electronics including computer equipment due to flooding. After a clean-up that involved having to dump water out of their computer processors, the police department needs computers. In addition, the Calcasieu Sheriff's Department is seeking 40 computers to replace their loss.
LESO will distribute the donated computers (including the first and also future shipments) among these and other local police agencies. LESO is a collaboration of federal and state government resources including the U. S. Dept of Defense, the National Law Enforcement Center in Newport, North Carolina, and CMS to help bring those police agencies back on-line.
For more information, please contact LESO State Coordinator Eddie Guidry (225) 278-3686.
CMS, through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Defense (DoD), is charged by the Office of the Governor to administer the "1033 Program" of the DoD’s Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). As coordinator of this program for the State of Illinois, CMS matches law enforcement logistical requirements with available DoD excess property including electronics, weapons and furniture. CMS serves as the liaison between the local law enforcement agency, usually those located in Illinois, and the Department of Defense.
Last year, for example, CMS transferred more the $2.7 million in excess property such as electronics, office furniture, vehicles and other personal property to Illinois law enforcement agencies.
In September, CMS coordinated a relief effort in which more than 100 State of Illinois employee volunteers processed emergency food stamps for more than 25,000 families who had been forced by Hurricane Katrina to evacuate their homes. The volunteers worked in three mobile command centers that CMS set up with computers powered by generators and linked via satellite to the State’s high-speed voice-and-data Illinois Century Network.