Sunday, June 11, 2017

As Chief Miller retires, will Davidson Commissioners support DPD camera request?

Tuesday's agenda at Davidson Town Hall is packed with controversial topics, but it will begin and end on something the Board should absolutely be able to agree on - the leadership and support of the Davidson Police Department

Starting off the meeting, the Board will recognize long-time police chief Jeanne Miller.  Miller is retiring this month.  She has done an great job over the years leading the department, and she will be sorely missed both around Town Hall and, on a personal note, around the Bradford neighborhood.  Yours truly has been neighbors with the Chief since moving to town and my family and I are sad to see this day finally arrive.

A reception for Chief Miller starts at 4pm Tuesday at Town Hall.

Bookending the meeting is a second agenda item that is a priority for DPD - a  $20k budget amendment from the Town fund balance plus just under $30k from the 2017 contingency fund before the end of FY2017 to start funding a digital camera system around town.

The DPD has been talking about a system similar to what Mooresville and Cornelius already have in place for a couple of years now.  The full proposal would involve 11 cameras installed around town with 7 of them including licence plate readers.  The full cost of the system would be about $153k plus annual monitoring.

While some may have concerns over such a system from a civil liberties point of view, the plan is to only have the system used as an investigative tool Esther than an actively monitored system.  Readers, should also be reminded of the value of these tools.

From speaking with those familiar with how these systems work and who have seen them in action, they are pretty awesome in narrowing the scope of an investigation quickly.  The Davidson homicide in 2015 was solved quickly in large part because the perpetrators' vehicle was captured on the Cornelius system.

One has to wonder if last week's burglary in Davidson which left the town uneasy might have been resolved immediately if the requested system had already been in place.

It is a bit of a pricey system, but Davidson Commissioners seem to be able to find the money when it's really important to the town.

For example, they coughed up a hefty sum for the two "information kiosks" on Main Street.  Even though the one at South Main Square seems to be broken a lot of the time, having this at the entrance to town probably comes in handy for a few people (when it's working).

Then of course there is this purchase which greatly
contributes to the town core values of protecting the environment.  The town "ELF" is rarely seen plying Davidson streets, but when it does get used at least there are zero emissions.

Ok, all kidding and sarcasm aside.  Considering these things made the cut as reasonable expenditures according to this same group of elected officials, then surely something that benefits public safety will bubble up to the top of the priority list.

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