FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve a two-year contract that gives dispatchers a 2 percent wage increase, retroactive to July 1, 2016.

Members of Teamsters Local 340 approved the contract Monday night, Communications Center Director Stan Wheeler said.

The action followed a brief executive session. The contract will expire June 30, 2018.

Commissioner Clyde Barker was not in attendance because of medical reasons.

In another business matter, commissioners approved a federal Homeland Security Operation Stonegarden grant for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office for an automated license plate reader.

Operation Stonegarden funds investments in joint efforts to secure the United States borders.

The Sheriff’s Office has received two snowmobiles and a side-by-side ATV in past years, Chief Deputy Steven Lowell said.

The equipment was bid out.

The “’automated license plate recognition system” means a system of one or more mobile or fixed high-speed cameras combined with computer algorithms to convert images of registration plates into computer-readable data,’” according to state law.

There is a basic unit that costs about $20,000 and has a one-year warranty and the other is $26,000 and has a five-year warranty, Lowell said after the meeting. The system would include two cameras mounted on a cruiser. The company is developing a bracket for Interceptor cruisers. It is also setting up a server in Augusta, he said. The data collected could only be saved for 21 days unless it is an active criminal investigation, Lowell said. 

Ten of the county’s cruisers would be set up so the system could easily and quickly be moved from one cruiser to another.

The reader would pick up on a plate that is on a hot-type list that could include stolen vehicles or warrants, Lowell said.

It is not doing anything that an officer can’t do now on the road.

“This just does it automatically,” he said.

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