ACSO to replace equipment

Published 12:01 am Saturday, March 29, 2008

NATCHEZ — The Mirra IV is on the fritz.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office voice recording unit, Mirra IV, broke down on Tuesday and needs to be replaced.

Sheriff Ronny Brown said the recorder is an extremely valuable tool the county uses every day.

Email newsletter signup

So valuable in fact, the Adams County Board of Supervisors called an emergency meeting to reallocate funding within the ACSO budget to pay for the new recorder.

The new machine will cost the county approximately $11,500.

While the price might seem high, the county is actually saving about $2,500 by trading in the defective recorder to the manufacturer.

Major Billy Neely said the machine records virtually every call going into or out of the sheriff’s office. In addition, it records all walkie-talkie correspondence with officers and records calls to the dispatcher.

Brown said since the machine is constantly recording, it has often been used as evidence in legal proceedings.

“It records all of our 911 calls and everything else,” he said.

Neely said the machine originally started to malfunction sometime last year, and has since been on the decline.

The broken machine has been in service since 2002 and uses special DVDs to record conversations.

Neely said since digital recorders have replaced analog recorders, like the current Mirra IV, repairing the old machine would have been cost prohibitive.

The new machine will record continuously for six years on a new 250-gigabyte hard drive.

The hard drive-driven unit will not use DVDs and will save the county money over time, Neely said.

The previous machine required a new DVD every 60 days.

While the recorder will not be replaced until Tuesday, Brown said he does not anticipate that one week without the machine will harm the department.

“We’ll be OK,” he said. “But we need the new one soon.”