Albany leaders approve funding uses from RedSpeed camera citations

City leaders said that safety is top of mind as they bring in more surveillance tools.
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 11:41 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2023 at 6:09 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany leaders recently approved two uses of funds collected from citations from school speed zone cameras.

At a Tuesday Albany City Commission meeting, commissioners unanimously approved using funds collected from citations issued from the RedSpeed cameras across school zones in Albany.

💵 Where is the funding going? 💵

The first proposal that was approved was purchasing cameras and hardware from the FLOCK Group, Inc.

The proposal approved was $411,350. That cost is for 54 cameras, 49 automated license plate recognition cameras and four advanced automated license plate recognition cameras. The proposal also includes a $342,500 annual maintenance and support cost.

The second proposal approved was to purchase software from FUSUS, Inc. City commissioners approved a three-year contract with the company for $125,000 a year.

“FUSUS is a real-time surveillance software platform for law enforcement that allows police to access any linked camera asset in real-time and to review video footage. The platform allows access to both public and private cameras, drones, and other feeds throughout the city on a permission-based level and it is on a voluntary participation basis,” city officials said in a release. “FUSUS provides a real-time crime center, allowing police to have immediate access to video feed on a single platform while responding to emergencies and other police responses.”

The approved budget will also bring in FUSUS software.
The approved budget will also bring in FUSUS software.(WALB)

City officials said the software also allows for, “immediate video searches enhancing the situational awareness and investigative capabilities of law enforcement while emphasizing officer, citizen and community safety.”

The system, city officials pointed out, also includes “incident-based geo-specific public messaging,” which would allow people to be notified of major events.

Albany City Commissioner Chad Warbington said the commission’s $500,000 discretionary funds will be combined with the RedSpeed camera revenue to purchase the programs.

“I consider them a force multiplier in terms it takes our officers, but also these tools and things that they can use to solve crime,” Warbington said. “We’re getting anywhere from six to seven gunfire detections a night. That was alarming. We want people to think twice about discharging a firearm. We want them to realize that they’re going to be known, they’re going to be investigated, officers are going to show up in a matter of minutes.”

Approximately 150 surveillance cameras will be placed around Albany.
Approximately 150 surveillance cameras will be placed around Albany.(WALB)

Warbington added that within the past two years, the RedSpeed camera revenue has gone into other public safety projects.

“State law requires the money in the RedSpeed Cameras into law enforcement and public safety,” he said “The first expenditure was the new flashers we put up at all the school zones, we upgraded all of our tasers for our law enforcement officers and now we’re making a large expenditure into technology, and so really those funds are being used exactly the way our state legislatures designed it to be.”

Many Albany drivers are concerned about where their money is going after paying RedSpeed Camera citations. City leaders say it goes right back into public safety initiatives. Like the over $800,000 worth of surveillance technology that is making its way to Albany. WALB News 10′s Lenah Allen reports on if these tools will actually help decrease crime.

City leaders said that safety is top of mind as they bring in more surveillance tools.

“We know we have crime issues in our community and this is a way to protect our citizens,” said Demetrius Young, an Albany city commissioner.

And with an ongoing law enforcement shortage, Albany Police Chief Michael Persley says the new technology will fill in that gap.

“We can have additional eyes, plus with the license plate recognition system, now we’re able to if there’s an incident that occurs and we need to go back and do any historical tracking on vehicles, then we have that ability,” Young said.

In all, there will be 150 surveillance cameras placed throughout Albany. It may take three to six months to get some of the cameras up and running and a year for the full system integration.

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