SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Sylacauga’s first Council work session of the decade was held Tuesday night in the Mayor’s chambers prior to the official council meeting.

At the work session Police Chief Kelley Johnson communicated the need of updated body cameras and software for body cameras for his patrol units. Patrol units are required to wear body cameras. Johnson explained the rule was implemented by former police chief Chris Carden.

Starting at 00:04:00 in the work session video below, Johnson tells the council that his department has 34 total body cameras with 14 of them being completely inoperable and many are falling apart.

Many of these cameras, according to Johnson, have been in use since 2014. “These cameras are considered at ‘end of life’ meaning there are no more parts for them and the warranties have expired,” said Johnson.

The new body camera systems SPD is considering are made by the same company, Panasonic, already used for the patrol vehicle dash cam.

Buying the Panasonic cameras will also allow SPD to store its body cam footage and dash cam on the same server which is a feature currently unavailable because of the two different manufacturers.

Johnson explained the importance of body camera footage. “These cameras are not here for us to gather evidence in all cases,” he said. “These are more for protection for the city and the officer for complaints. If my guys do something wrong they’ll have to answer for that, but that’s normally not the case.”

The city is currently in a lawsuit for false arrest, and Johnson said the body camera footage will get the case dismissed.

The total cost for the 16 requested cameras and the video storage system, along with its amenities, will cost roughly $50,000 including installation.

Watch the full video of the council meeting and work session below.

  • APPROVED — Resolution 01-2020 to set date for public hearing for annexation of properties located at 134 Houston Road and 520 Fulton Gap Road, and zoning of properties as recommended by Planning Commission. First available date for public hearing is Feb. 20, 2020. AF/DD
  • APPROVED — Resolution 02-2020 to accept award of ADECA CDBG Community Enhancement Fund Demolition and Clearance Grant in the amount of $250,000. DB/DD
  • APPROVED — Resolution 03-2020 to amend agreement with East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission authorized by Resolution 30-2019 (5-21-19) and changing contract to three-year term as recommended by ALDOT. DB/DD
  • APPROVED — fire chief job description
  • APPROVED — Approve travel/expenses for CC Admin Assistant Kim Morris to attend the Spring 2020 Municipal Clerk’s Training Institute in Birmingham Feb. 18-20, 2020.  Registration fee is $265 Additional expenses for mileage will be incurred.  Total estimated expenses for Morris are $453.
  • APPROVED — Approve travel/expenses PD Lt. Willis Whatley to attend the AACOP CLEEP training courses “The ABC’s of the XYZ’s” on Jan. 16, 2020, and “Real Deal Leadership/Performance Reviews/Media Relations” on Jan. 17, 2020 in Dothan.  Registration fee is $99 per course. Additional expenses for lodging, meals, and fuel for a city vehicle will be incurred.  Total estimated expenses for Whatley are $563.15.  Whatley and Cummings will carpool in a city vehicle.
  • Approved travel/expenses PD Lt. Renea Cummings to attend the AACOP CLEEP training course “The ABC’s of the XYZ’s on Jan. 16, 2020, and “Real Deal Leadership/Performance Reviews/Media Relations” on Jan. 17, 2020 in Dothan.  Registration fee is $99 per course. Additional expenses for lodging and meals will be incurred. Total estimated expenses for Cummings are $463.15. Cummings and Whatley will carpool in a city vehicle.
  • Approved travel/expenses for Police Chief Kelley Johnson to attend the AACOP Winter Conference in Montgomery February 17-20, 2020.
  • Approved travel/expenses for Police Captain Rondell Muse to attend the AACOP Winter Conference in Montgomery Feb. 17-20, 2020.
  • Approved travel/expenses for Police Lt. Renea Cummings to attend the AACOP Winter Conference in Montgomery Feb. 17-20, 2020.
  • Approved travel/expenses for Police Lt. Willis Whatley to attend the AACOP Winter Conference in Montgomery Feb. 17-20, 2020.
  • Approved travel/expenses for Police Lt. Mike Moore to attend the AACOP Winter Conference in Montgomery Feb. 17-20, 2020.
  • Approved accounts payable received to date for December in the amount of $220,863.18

 

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