NORIS, the Northwest Ohio Regional Information System, is the agency that provides computer services to almost all criminal justice agencies in our region. My recent column in the Toledo Free Press on the "Importance of NORIS" gives you the background of the agency and what they've done over the years for law enforcement, corrections and courts.
They're in the news because Mayor Carty Finkbeiner wants to 'freeze' their funding for 2008 - except he's forgotten that the City used NORIS reserves to offset how much they paid for the services in 2007.
As the battle over their funding heats up, here are some facts you should know.
* NORIS's budget in 1989 was $1.81 million. Their 2008 request is $1.83 million. They're basically charging the city the same as they did 18 years ago.
* Since 2004, the City of Toledo has used $1,150,296 in reserves to offset how much they pay for the services received. The 2008 budget compares only the actual amount paid by the city - not the additional funds they used to meet their obligation.
* In 1989, the full-time equivalent staff at NORIS was 27. Today it is 27.45.
* Since 1989, NORIS has created and maintained 43 new computer applications to serve the various agencies.
* City of Toledo computer charges for their various departments have increased 140% since 2003. City of Toledo is projecting a 3.51% increase in 2008 over the 2007 figures. But they don't want to plan for any increase for NORIS.
* The paperless warrant system NORIS created and maintains saves about $880,000 a year (over doing the warrants by hand). And that's just one of the applications they run.
Considering these facts, why does the mayor think the NORIS budget needs to be cut????