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New PD computers, cameras approved

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The city council Monday gave final approval to a budget amendment to provide an additional $50,000 to the Decatur Police Department to purchase video/computer units, software and cameras for seven police vehicles.

Police Chief Rex Hoskins had asked the council on April 8 to supply the funds to supplement a grant he had applied for earlier this year. The grant will purchase cameras for nine vehicles.

But Hoskins discovered after the March 21 shootout with Colorado murder suspect Evan Ebel that the hard drives in several of the department’s 16 vehicles were defective. He said they did not realize all of the on-board camera/computers were not recording until they went back to review them as part of the investigation of the chase and shooting.

The council approved the request on first reading April 8, then gave it final approval on Monday. It will replace three complete systems and upgrade software on four others.

The additional funding will not affect the grant application, Hoskins said.

“I’m glad we’re in a position where we can do this without having a deleterious effect on the budget,” Mayor Martin Woodruff said Monday. “Revenue is up.”

Councilman Jason Wren made the motion, and Councilwoman Susan Cocanougher seconded. The vote was unanimous, although councilman Jay Davidson was not in attendance.

CRUISERS TO SKIP THE HEAT

This year’s version of “Cruise Nights on the Courthouse Square” will skip the torrid months of July and August.

The once-a-month celebration of classic car culture will shut down three sides of the square from 4 to 8 p.m. on the first Saturday of May, June, September and October as car owners are invited to park and show off their vehicles while visitors enjoy looking at the cars, shopping and eating around the square. It is sponsored by the city’s Main Street program.

“Historically, the May, June and September events have been well-attended,” City Manager Brett Shannon commented in making the presentation to the council. “It’s not a lot of fun when it’s 108 degrees.”

This year’s celebrations will be May 4, June 1, Sept. 7 and Oct. 5.

OTHER ACTION

The council also:

  • reappointed Sam Renshaw, J.E. Carson and Roy Eaton to the city’s Water Authority board, with terms to expire April 30, 2015;
  • appointed councilmembers Cary Bohn, Jason Wren and Dana Clinesmith to serve along with various city staff on the budget committee, which will meet four or five times in June, July and August to hammer out details of the city’s budget for fiscal year 2013-14;
  • declared May 10 as Butterfield Stage Days Karl Klement Ram PRCA “Rodeo Pink” night, encouraging everyone to wear pink that day to support an initiative for breast cancer awareness, early detection and education that works in conjunction with Bridgeport’s Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo;
  • and prior to the meeting, heard reports from the fire, planning and public works departments in a brief work session.

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