Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office has finally been granted budget for a data center replacement project after several years of trying.

According to 2021 documents, a one-time request of $950,000 to replace the existing data center was granted in pre-workshop expansions and the Office is asking for an additional $161,300 in the latest round of budget workshops.

The Office has been asking for funds for a number of years, saying equipment supporting key services was outdated and lacking redundancy.

Sheriff’s Office data center finally gets money

The Sheriff’s Office has been asking for a data center since as far back as 2018. According to official documents, the Sheriff’s Office utilizes a data center for all of its Patrol, Dispatching, Custody, and Administrative processes, as well as and business applications.

“This Data Center must be kept up to date and reliable for the safety of the public and our first responders who depend on the applications and services provided by this equipment,” read the document.

While it says the normal life expectancy of this type of hardware is five years, the hardware due for replacement was seven years old in 2018 and is several years overdue for replacement. In budget proposals, the Office has asked for $1.3 million-$1.5 million every year since 2018, either all up front or in on-going instalments. As well as the currently estimated $1.5 million, the new facility would require an annual contribution of $400,000 for five years in order to build up replacement funds.

In a letter to Senator Monique Limon, County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato asked for $1.5 million for data center placement, additional redundancy at the Northern Branch Jail, 5 years of support on hardware with expected life span of 8 years, and a digital transformation & cloud plan.

“The Sheriff Department’s data center currently houses public safety dispatching systems, booking and jail management systems, criminal reports and warrant systems, digital evidence (body camera and in-car videos) and Sheriff business applications, files and backups,” said Miyasato. “These systems are currently running on aging 9-year-old infrastructure and there currently is no redundancy for these critical systems.”

The Office is also asking for money to establish a new Data Analysis Unit to enhance the jail’s data collection and case management efforts.

DCD has reached out to Sheriff Department’s Bill Brown for comment.