The newly elected North Royalton City Council unanimously adopted legislation that will provide for police cameras for the North Royalton Police Department. “This will increase transparency for the Police Department, ensure criminals get off our streets, and provide additional safety for our officers as they risk their lives to keep us safe,” stated Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw.
The measure was considered after an indictment of a North Royalton Police officer last year.
“It’s unfortunate but in today’s world, everybody has a phone and a camera,” said then-Council President Larry Antoskiewicz. “So whether you think you’re being recorded or not, we all know that possibility’s there.”
The ordinance was introduced after several discussions in the Council Finance Committee last year, where three options were narrowed down to one. The ordinance adopted authorizes the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Utility, Incorporated for body worn camera and vehicle video and communications systems for an amount not to exceed $247,100. The city will obtain the equipment, training and support without bidding in conformity with the single-source procurement police of the Department of Administrative Services.
The agreement provides for Bodyworn Camera, Vehicle Video and Communications Systems to support a total of 35 officers, 15 vehicles and one interview room for a period of five years. The BodyWorn is based on Cloud technology, the cams secured to the officer’s uniform and using artificial intelligence, can detect, through programming, if an officer is using their siren, is running or if they take out their weapon. It can also alert if an officer is down. Every officer will be equipped with a camera and mount; combination of BodyWorn Ready Uniforms, not to exceed $200 allotment credit per officer; unlimited existing uniform retrofits within 90 days of hardware per officer, one holster activation sensor; one bluetooth BodyWorn wrist/belt trigger; and a variety of licenses and unlimited download and storage. It will also include installation and training and a full warranty. Hardware, technical support and warranty are also being provided for the fifteen vehicles and the interview room.
The cameras are available at a cost of $49,420 a year for five years at zero percent interest. The cameras have already been accounted into the 2020 budget, funded through the Police Department’s Law Enforcement Fund.
The timeframe on the police cams is expected to be rolled out in the next few months, late spring/early summer. “It will take us a couple months to get it all put together,” said Antoskiewicz. Although there is no grant money that will be going toward this, “we got a good deal going now with this,” he said.
Contributing Writer