Sheriff requests Falcon cameras | The South Reporter

2022-06-30 06:54:05 By : Mr. Eric Wang

Marshall County investigator Maj. Kelly McMillen pitched the purchase of Flock Safety cameras to help investigators track suspects on county roads. The system is used nationally on state and interstate highways to locate vehicles using a description or using a license plate.

McMillen said Marshall County had a warrant for a suspect out on NCIC (National Crime Information Center) and the system was successful in locating a murder suspect in Florida recently.

“Information to get an arrest warrant came off these cameras,” McMillen said. “We were able to track a truck with cameras to find the suspect in a murder.”

Robert Lacey, with Flock Safety, described the technology and how the system is set up by law enforcement.

The camera takes a picture of the vehicle and license plate and if the vehicle or license plate information matches any information listed on NCIC, law enforcement gets an alert.

He said about 20,000 cameras in about 40 states are being deployed by Flock Safety now.

The camera is wireless, solar powered and easily deployed, Lacey said. They can be moved to another location if desired.

The camera is motion activated and can work at night. It can take four to seven pictures of a passing vehicle and its tag information. The information is run on NCIC and in 15 to 30 seconds the system can notify law enforcement.

The camera looks at the vehicle, not the suspect and is secure.

Dispatch gets the information that is pertinent to a given locale and law enforcement takes it from there.

McMillen said the equipment would be installed at major high traffic intersections and on county roads at county lines, any place there is a high traffic area and corresponding elevated levels of criminal activity. Cameras can also be located in rural areas where the county gets lots of complaints.

Ten cameras would cost the county about $32,000 a year.

Lacey said it would take Flock Safety about three months to get set up and running because the process includes obtaining permits.

District 3 supervisor Keith Taylor said he wants to make sure 10 cameras would be enough.

McMillen said the county wanted to start with 20.

Taylor said the visibility of the equipment may deter some criminal activity but District 5 supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett thought differently.

“Hoodlums will tear ‘em up once they know they are there,” he said.

No board action was taken on the proposal.

Circuit court clerk Monet Autry made a pitch for cameras at the courthouse.

Chancery clerk Chuck Thomas said the county had bids taken to cover the courthouse.

Autry also said the courtroom is noisy due to the blowers that drown out the public address system in the courtroom making it difficult for jurors to hear clearly. That means that the blowers often have to be turned off, then everyone stifles in the heat, she said.

Autry also asked for upgrades in the chairs in the jury box.

“The air conditioning and chairs and public address system need to be addressed next year,” Taylor said.

Thomas said that it is likely the bearings in the blowers that are making so much noise.

“The chairs are broke and dangerous to sit in,” Taylor said.

Bennett didn’t think the chairs could be changed because it is an historic courthouse. To refurbish the chairs would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said.

Taylor said he thinks the chairs can be changed.

Plaster on the walls in the circuit clerks office is bubbling and peeling, Autry said. She said people ask about the wall when they come in the courthouse.

“Public coming in downstairs want to know what is going on,” she said.

She reported on the Lafayette County Courthouse which has been completely restored.

“We have a lot of room on the third floor,” she said, that could be used if an elevator was installed.

In other business the board of supervisors:

• considered lot clean-up orders. Zoning administrator Ken Jones reported Auto Care and Tire in the 900 block of Highway 309 North has too many vehicles on the lot. The board approved clean-ups of a lot on Hyline Drive, at a store in Barton, at the old St. Paul Church and abandoned house at Dogwood and Barringer.

The clean-up at the church was reported complete at a later board meeting.

An old case of junk cars is now in court.

• approved a beer license at Foxfire Ranch. A beer license was also approved at 2710 Highway 72 for Slayden Travel Center, now owned by Prudence LLC.

• approved LED lighting on the walking track at Isaac Chapel Community Center to help deter loitering.

District 4 supervisor George Zinn lll said the county is already paying $8.50 a month for existing lights. LED bulbs would be energized at no additional cost unless a larger 141 watt bulb is installed at $15 per light.

Zinn asked for one 50 watt LED light on the front porch at Rosenwald School and for one 141 Watt LED out front of the center to thwart loitering.

The board approved the measure.

• discussed enforcing the leash law ordinance.

• authorized installation of 25 cameras at the courthouse. Fants was awarded the quote at $29,164. Oxford Alarm and Communications quoted $31,524.

• prepared an engagement letter for the 2021 audit at $40,000 a year.

• approved a waste tire grant agreement with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality at $26,000 a year.

• approved pay requests from Dean & Dean Associates Architects for $44,417 and $36,000 to pay contractor Barnes & Brower for work on new jail.

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