City Commissioners discuss technology for Albany Police - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City Commissioners discuss technology for Albany Police

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Albany city leaders say fighting crime is their top priority.

Tuesday they discussed spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax money to help officers on the street.

City Commissioners OK'd spending more than 163 thousand dollars for 30 more mobile computers to be installed in the Albany Police Cars. The Mayor also recommended purchasing a Police Tactical Operations Unit now, rather than waiting for SPLOST tax funds to pay for it in a couple of years.

The Dell Notebook Mobile Computers are being used in many APD cars now, but Chief John Proctor requested 30 more be bought and installed so that most Officers on the streets will have them. Proctor says APD was a decade behind the times technologically when he came, and now they are catching up.

 Proctor said "We're coming from behind the 8 ball trying to institute those things that will make us work more efficiently, more effectively, and a little bit more safely."

The City Commission OK' d the more than $163,000 purchase price, to keep cops on the streets.

 City Commissioner Roger Marietta said "They can spend less time doing the reports and more time patrolling the streets."

Then Mayor Willie Adams went a step further, asking Commissioners to consider spending $304,000 now to buy the Police a top of the line communications command vehicle. The money and vehicle are on the SPLOST 6 tax list of projects, but Mayor Adams says it's too important to wait.

 Mayor Willie Adams said "Crime is at the top of our list of things that we want to have under control in the city. Such a command vehicle that can be moved to hot crime areas and be there for a while, should be moved up."

Mayor Adams instructed the City Attorney to see if legally they could use city reserve funds to purchase the Command Vehicle now, and use sales tax money to repay the reserve fund later.

The Chief specifically talked about seeing the need for this command vehicle a couple of years ago, when a child was missing in West Albany during 18 degree temperatures.  They had to organize and lead the search in the extreme cold. He said the command vehicle could be used to dispatch all emergency operations if the 9-1-1 center was down during a disaster

Those computers are expensive, but they are specially made to handle being in Police cars.

The city experimented with cheaper computers, but they melted in the South Georgia heat.

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