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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Priceville council purchases police vests; body cameras may be next By Ashley Remkus Staff Writer

Blogger Comments:

Should the Morgan County Commission purchase much needed equipment for the Morgan County Sheriff's Office?  They sheriff has ample time and money to provide our law enforcement officers with the most up-to-date equipment and gear.  The sheriff has neglected her command.

 It is commendable that Priceville Town Council is in a position to help their officers and we give them high praise.  

Priceville and all other Sheriff's Offices in the State of Alabama could net have gotten away with the stunts that Franklin has pulled off.  Sheriff Franklin has squandered more money in the past 5 1/2 years than any other sheriff's office in the state.  She certainly has the State Attorney General, Luther Strange covering her butt.  We can't help but wonder who else is covering Franklin's butt.  And what they are getting in return.

Decatur Daily article:

PRICEVILLE — New bulletproof vests for two officers are the most recent purchases among more than $11,000 worth of equipment the Town Council is buying for the Police Department.
The council on Monday approved spending $945 to cover about half the cost of the two vests, which also are being partially funded by a federal grant.
The expenditure comes as the Police Department is researching the cost of new body cameras to equip its reserve officers. About two months ago the town spent $10,145 on seven plate-armor vests along with a drone and its camera equipment.
Priceville officers are required to wear bulletproof vests anytime they are in uniform or on duty, while the plate-armor vests are for use during high-threat situations, said Chief Billy Peebles.
“The plate-armor vests are for your biggest emergency calls and the type of situations where the threat level is higher than usual,” Peebles said. “They’re too thick for you to wear every day like the regular vests, and they weigh a ton.”
Corporal Herman Davis told the Town Council the department received $987 in federal grant money to help pay for the two replacement vests, which are for Assistant Chief Ron DeWeese and Corporal Jason Wilbanks.
At the urging of Mayor Melvin Duran, the Police Department is researching the cost of purchasing body cameras for its reserve officers.
“I think if they’re out there, they ought to be wearing the cameras just like the other officers,” Duran said. “We need to be able to see what’s happening when they’re out there working — for their safety and the public’s.”
Davis said the department had been looking at six cameras that are $900 each for the reserve officers. But, after finding a different camera model for $400, it’s considering asking the council also to replace the cameras worn by the five full-time officers, he said.
Because the cost would remain somewhere around the $4,000-$5,000 mark, it would be sensible to keep all of the officers wearing the same camera model, he said.
Peebles said he wants to make sure the officers are getting equipment that’s “the best fit for what we are doing.”
“Some cameras don’t do well in rain if you are out working a wreck for hours,” he said. “We always want to update and get better equipment that will help us be effective.”
Davis said the cameras will not automatically record, so the officers will have to turn them on when they respond to a call.
The video footage cannot be edited, he said.
“When the officers download it, the only option they have is to make a copy,” he said.
Duran said the council likely will approve the purchase of the cameras if it's presented during the Oct. 3 meeting.
ashley.remkus@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2443. Twitter @aremkus1.

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