Kendallville renews storage contract for police cameras | News Sun | –

Kendallville renews storage contract for police cameras | News Sun | –

KENDALLVILLE — The Kendallville Police Department is shooting a lot of video footage each year between its body-worn officer cameras and in-car cameras and the cost for storing those video files has increased.

But Police Chief Lance Waters said the dollars are worth it, calling the cameras “invaluable” to his department.

At Tuesday’s Board of Works and Public Safety meeting, Waters presented an annual renewable with GETAC for digital storage of police video files at a cost of $6,668.62.

That price is up from a year ago, although that’s in part because the department has added three in-car cameras from GETAC that will also use its cloud storage service, on top of 20 body-worn cameras used by officers daily.

The GETAC system Kendallville purchased in 2018 allows officers to record at the touch of a button. Storing the videos are easy, as officers mount their cameras at the end of the shift and all of their video files are uploaded to the department’s cloud.

Waters said the new in-car cameras can actually upload while an officer is out in the field, making them even less of a hassle to transfer video files for relevant interactions with the public.

“They upload the videos even while the officers are on patrol,” Waters said, adding that he’d like to replace all of the current in-car cameras with the cloud-connected GETAC models as the old ones wear out and need to be replaced. “It just uploads while they’re out driving around.”

Although the department is paying $300 per year for each camera for storage, Waters said that option is much easier, efficient and secure than trying to maintain an in-house storage system.

All in all, Waters said the cameras, which were implemented under former Police Chief Rob Wiley, are a great tool.

“Our body camera program is invaluable as far as I’m concerned,” Waters said.

The board of works approved the updated contract, with Jim Dazey and Don Gura voting to approve. Mayor Suzanne Handshoe was absent.

In other business Tuesday, the board of works:

• Approved opening a position for a new accounts payable clerk to replace Judy Henney, who is retiring. Clerk-treasurer Katie Ritchie said she’d like to have a new person hired soon and have them undergo about eight weeks of training with Henney for the complicated job duties.

• Bumped the pay rate for Officer Sidney Shartzer, who serves as a school resource officer with East Noble, to the shift sergeant pay rate of $26.96 per hour and an increase of hours from 1,950 to 2,080 per year. Waters clarified that while Shartzer is paid at the sergeant level, the increase does not come with increased rank and its supervisory responsibilities.

• Approved purchase of a dump body, hydraulics and salt spreader at a cost of $67,144, which will be fitted to a street department salt trucks for winter use.