MONTE VISTA— Monte Vista Information Technology Director Jim Belknap gave his monthly report to the Monte Vista City Council at their meeting on Thursday, Jan. 17. Belknap had many interesting items to report and was proud of the hard work that his team has done on several projects.
Belknap began by sharing that the intoxilyzer used by the police and the Colorado State Patrol had not been communicating with the state properly. As a result “the officers in both departments were having to use telephones and fax to transmit results which resulted in a quite a delay,” said Belknap. This issue was noticed when the state needed to do an upgrade on the device and was unable to do that in a reasonable amount of time. The IT team developed an encrypted path to fix the problem. “I just have to give a big kudos to my team (Brandon [Gallegos] and Christian [Batzer]) for staying on top of that. It was not easy work or average work that you would see from a small town IT department,” he said.
A few months ago the city lost the public information officer that was working for the government entity. During those months the IT department stepped up and took over those duties and responsibilities. City Clerk Unita Vance has now stepped up to become the new public information officer. Belknap said that the department gained a new appreciation and respect for the position after doing the job and having to train Vance. “She’s doing a wonderful job. We have seen all the day-to-day operations that it takes to be the PIO. We have successfully transitioned...I think you have a real treasure there,” said Belknap.
Belknap also shared that there are currently three toughbook laptops that have been installed in police cars. They were donated and valued at $3,000 making the total in the fleet worth $15,000. It is anticipated another car will receive the technology soon. “The officers seem to love them. It really lets them be out in the field rather than in an office writing their reports,” said Belknap. Ten more computer systems are expected within the next year and a half.