Estherville Police Chief Eric Milburn presented his 15th annual report to the city council on Monday.
For Milburn, who plans to retire in August, it is also his final report.
"For me to hold the position of Chief of Police for 15 years is nothing but a reflection on the work that the officers of the Estherville Police have done over that time period," Milburn stated in his report. "While many may debate these words, I genuinely feel that these officers and the officers that were employed here and moved on, have always done the right thing as best we could."
Milburn cited the technological chances that occurred during the year.
In March, the state informed Emmet County that the Clerk of District Court would no longer accept paper in regards to court filings and documents. All filing with the clerk's office would be required to be done electronically.
"Anticipating this, we had discussion with city staff and the state regarding in-car computer systems as early as December of 2012," Milburn stated.
The police obtained funding from the E911 board to fund of $106,000 to purchase and install in-car computers set up to run the news systems.
Also the city budgeted money to purchase scanners and printers for the patrol cars so all reporting, citation, warning and traffic accident forms cane be done from them.
"It has been a challenge to learn the new system, but the officers have adapted and I believe it is working well," stated Milburn. "Officers can complete accident reports more quickly and they can eFile citations from the car, eliminating the duplication of work by scanning these documents and sending them in email form."
Milburn said the most significant change in 2013 was the re-establishment of the police reserves. In 2012, the State Law Enforcement Academy initiated changes to the police reserve administrative rules, basically pulling their certifications and starting over.
At the request of Captain Brent Shatto, the police department worked to start the reserve program again with the volunteers paying for the training modules.
Milburn said city administrator Penny Clayton helped budget money to pay for the physicals, eye exams and hearing exams.
"We now have seven individuals who have applied, interviewed, background checked and appointed to the reserve program," Milburn reported. "They are currently attending their training modules and have been a welcome addition to our department. It takes a special person to do this type of work, and even more special to do it with an annual salary of $1 and pay for the training themselves."
Milburn said the reserve program has been used as a 'minor league' for the police department.
"We have five prior reserves that are currently on our department," he stated. At one point, we had seven who were reserves for our department."
Milburn said several former reserve officers are working throughout the state including some state troopers and chiefs of police.