Computer upgrade approved for police department

FLINT TWP. — A $16,455 upgrade is needed to bring police department computers up to speed. The township board unanimously appoved the expenditure at its April 21 meeting. Trustees Barb Vert and George Menoutes were absent.

The technology upgrade is needed because Microsoft, as of April 8, has discontinued support for its Windows XP operating system, which the police department has used for many years, according to Police Chief George Sippert, in a written request for the comptuer purchase.

Ten of 31 computers in the police department need to be upgraded and fifteen need to be replaced, Chief Sippert said. Only six are fine for continued use.

Computers recently purchased by the police department already are equipped with the newer Microsoft Windows 7 upgrade. Chief Sippert said he is not recommending an upgrade to Microsoft’s even newer version Windows 8 operating system because it is not compatible with software on the department’s computers.

With the discontinuation of Windows XP, Microsoft is no longer providing security updates, issuing fixes or updating online technical content.

To adapt to that change, Chief Sippert said the department obtained an upgrade quote from IT Right of Bath, MI, that included a review of each individual computer in the police department system. That review determined which computers could be upgraded and which had to be replaced because the older hardware would not support a newer operating system.

Of the total purchase, the 15 new HP Business Pro 3500 Desktop Computers at $600 each adds up to $9000 of the costs.

After approving the purchase, Trustee Frank Kasle asked for a status report on other township computers.

Supervisor Karyn Miller said they have been working on that since December 2012 by replacing a few at a time. The accounting department was first. Miller’s office, the clerk’s office and the building dpeartment were gradually updated during 2013. The fire department completed its upgrade this year.

Upgrades are currently underway in the tax and assessment departments, she said.

Chief Sippert said his department needs to get it done as soon as possible to avoid problems that may crop up now that the 12-year-old operating system is no longer being supported.

Atter announcing the discontinuation earlier this month, Microsoft issued a notice on its web site that technical assistance no longer available includes automatic security updates to protect personal computers. Microsoft has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP.

Computers using Windows XP operating systems still will work but might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses, Microsoft said. Internet Explorer 8 also is no longer supported which could expose a computer to additonal threats if used to surf the web with a Windows XP operating system.

Microsoft also said that as more hardware and software manufacturers adopt newer operating systems, Windows XP users can expect that more apps and devices will not work with it.

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