Service agreement approved for in-car police cameras

FLINT TWP. — The $9,089 cost of a one-year service agreement for in-car police cameras will be paid for by Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funds. The township board recently approved the expenditure requested by Police Chief George Sippert.

Chief Sippert said a one-year warranty has expired for the cameras that were purchased and installed last year in 16 marked vehicles. The $109,298 original cost of the cameras also was covered by JAG funds.

Police departments receive the federal funding annually to help pay for crime-fighting work and equipment.

Township police cars were outfitted with an L-3 Video System made by a major manufacturer of in-car cameras.

Chief Sippert said at that time the cameras would enhance police work. “ Most police agencies utilize these types of systems,’’ he said.” In-car camera systems can improve citizens’ confidence in the police profession, enhance the ability to capture and convict violators, and record inappropriate police behavior.”

The cameras have improved officer safety and insured proper management of storage and retrieval of data in hardware and software, he said. Each police car has two cameras, wiring, a DVR hard drive, monitor, transmitters, microphones and chargers.

Each officer also has one body microphone.

Other components of the system are located in the police department and include a secure data server, wireless access point, software program and a DVD Burner System.

The service agreement covers all software updates, firmware updates, technical support and repair and replacement of covered components including labor, Chief Sippert said.

The department decided that a service agreement was needed after doing research, he said.

He submitted an itemized quote from L-3 Communication of components covered by the one-year service agreement.

The cost is covered by remaining 2012 JAG funds. Chief Sippert said he typically holds JAG funds in reserve to cover these kinds of costs. Some JAG funds are still left from the 2013 and 2014 allocation, he said in response to questions from Trustee Frank Kasle.

But JAG funding has been steadily declining in recent years from a high point of about $40,000, he said.

Flint Township received $35,521 in JAGfundsin2014(includinga5percent administration fee it receives for administering the fund under an inter-local agreement with four other eligible municipalities in Genesee County. The funds must be spent by Sept. 2017.

Its 2012 allocation was $27,208 and $30,346 in 2013.

Overall, the county’s JAG total allocation in recent years was $262,970 in 2014; $230,045 in 2013; $226,615 in 2012; $282,555 in 2011 and $381,139 in 2010.

The City of Flint gets the biggest share of the funds based on a formula that weighs violent crime statistics and population size.

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