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Published: Monday, 7/14/2003

Master of databases aids in every arrest

BY CHRISTINA HALL
BLADE STAFF WRITER
`It was an enticing opportunity to come out here,' says Mike Pevets, an Oak Harbor resident and new executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. `It was an enticing opportunity to come out here,' says Mike Pevets, an Oak Harbor resident and new executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
HIRES / BLADE Enlarge

If you're pulled over by Toledo police, the last thing you're thinking about is the computer database being used to look up information about you.

But it's one of the first things on Mike Pevets' mind.

The Oak Harbor resident is the new executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, which oversees information systems for many criminal justice agencies in northwest Ohio.

Though the 52-year-old lacks the law enforcement experience of his predecessors, he's ready to tackle his new role.

“It was an enticing opportunity to come out here,” said Mr. Pevets, who worked as a consultant and senior analyst for Perot Systems, Inc., in Southfield, Mich., for more than four years.

He said he looks forward to working with the council and its 44 full-time and part-time employees.

During his short tenure, he's already devised a few plans for the organization.

One of them includes trying to develop computer applications that will significantly reduce or eliminate the paperwork law enforcement officers have to do on an incident. Another is linking the databases of different agencies.

Mr. Pevets said the council “should be viewed as a technology partner for government in northwest Ohio.”

He was selected by a five-member search committee and approved in June by the council's 13-member board, Lucas County commissioners, and Toledo Mayor Jack Ford. He fills the position vacated by Nate Ford, Toledo's former deputy police chief.

Mr. Pevets, who started last month, will be paid $75,000 annually.

Search committee members said they were looking for someone with a computer background who could focus on the council's major components. The council operates the Regional Planning Unit and the Northwest Ohio Regional Information System, also called NORIS, which is a computer system that coordinates criminal record information for law enforcement agencies, common pleas court, and Toledo Municipal Court.

Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre said the council wants to improve and expand NORIS to neighboring counties, such as Fulton, Ottawa, and Wood, so all the databases can communicate with one another.

“We would like to have that person create an information system that's so attractive that everyone in northwest Ohio will want to be a part of it. We want to be the only game in town,” Chief Navarre said.

Mr. Pevets' name wasn't new to some of those who selected him. Three years ago, he was the Perot analyst who conducted a $100,000 study to review the city's computer systems to see how they could be changed to improve efficiency.

“I know Pevets from his work with the city and was pleasantly surprised that he would take a fairly substantial cut in pay. But Pevets, in response to a question, said he wanted to stay in Toledo to raise his child,” Mayor Ford said through his spokesman Megan Vahey.

Mr. Pevets describes himself as a “process-oriented person.” The Steubenville native is a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the West Virginia University Mountaineers. He is interested in ancient European history, the Civil War, enjoys riding motorcycles - he owns four - and spending time with his wife, Nancy, and their daughter, Alana, 16.

Mr. Pevets said his best attribute is managing change. His weak point? Managing his weight. The most surprising thing people learn about him is his height, he said: He stands 6 feet, 7 inches tall.

Before working at Perot, he spent a year as a general manager at Acutus-Gladwin, Inc., in Iowa. From 1992 to 1997 he was a product line manufacturing leader and general manager of facilities at Brush-Wellman, Inc., in Elmore.

He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Steubenville and is involved in community organizations near his home.

County Commissioner Maggie Thurber said Mr. Pevets stood out because of his sales and business experience, especially with how the council is changing.

“He knows basically how to sell an organization. That is something the CJCC has wanted to utilize, and he will do that effectively,” she said.



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