KIMBALL, Tenn. — City administrators said camera systems on police cruisers have become a technological necessity, and when they break down they must be replaced.
Kimball Police Chief Tommy Jordan said recently that at least seven of the town’s patrol car cameras were in serious need of replacement or repair.
“They are anywhere from 8 to 10 years old,” he said. “We’re starting to have some bad problems with some of them.”
At least three of the systems do not work at all, Jordan said, while others work only sporadically.
Kimball Mayor David Jackson said the cameras are a problem officials cannot ignore.
“I’m to the point that, if the cameras are not working, then the car should not be on patrol,” he said. “It protects the officer. It protects the person who is stopped. It protects the town.”
Jordan said the cameras will cost about $5,000 each with some additional costs for installation.
The police department has enough grant money available to purchase perhaps two cameras, and officials said new equipment grants should be available Oct. 1 to fund two more.
However, members of the Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen said they didn’t want to take any chances.
The board authorized Jordan to spend up to $30,000 after the grant money has been exhausted to buy the camera systems, and officials said the purchases will begin immediately.
When the town first got police cameras about 20 years ago, an officer arrested a person for DUI and, when the person’s lawyer showed up the next day, he was shown the dashboard video, Jackson said.
“He turned and left and we never heard anything else about it,” he said. “There are no questions [when the cameras are on]. Nobody can deny what’s on it. They are well worth the money, and we’ve got to try and get this fixed.”
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at email@example.com.
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