Cameras approved for installation in Havre police cars
June 16, 2009
Alice Campbell Havre Daily News [email protected]
After approval Monday by the Havre City Council, the Havre Police Department patrol cars will be equipped with new in-car video cameras for the first time in several years. “Right now our system is obsolete,” Assistant Chief of Operations Gabe Matosich told City Council members d u r ing the i r me e t ing Monday evening. The cameras, costing $29,199 with installation included and paid for with a grant from the Montana State Highway Traf f i c Safety Bureau, should be up and running by the middle of July at the latest, Matosich said. Council member Pam Hillery asked Matosich, “How does this help you?” in reference to the cameras helping identify impaired drivers. To be mounted up by the front windows of the cruisers, the cameras are intended to video each patrol in its entirety, then, when there is a stop, the entire interaction will be captured. That documentation helps when cases go to trial by contributing lots of evidence, Matosich said, not just for cases involving impaired drivers, but in all cases. Council members unanimously approved the appropriation of the funds to the police department's budget. City Council members discussed and took action on several other items during the meeting. With Terry Schend dissenting, the remaining seven council members voted in favor of approving paying annual dues to Bear Paw Development Corp. in the amount of $20,000. Bear Paw Development helps mainly with grant writing but also administers a federal housing assistance program and several other programs, Mayor Bob Rice said. Schend questioned figures from Bear Paw's annual report that shows 100 jobs have been created. He wanted to know whether those jobs are in Havre or regional. “I believe the number is in Bear Paw Development's area” of three or four counties, Schend said this morning, adding that he's more interested in specific numbers to Havre. He also asked why there is not more of an interest in canola-based biodiesel in the area by Bear Paw because of a production plant for which construction is slated to begin this summer, adjacent to the industrial park. He suggested pursuing a court authority to “maybe be a little more proactive than what we've done in the past.” “I have some concerns about local development,” because of the multi-county nature of Bear Paw, Schend said this morning. Rice said he would ask Paul Tuss, Bear Paw Development Corp.'s executive director, to attend council's next meeting in order to answer Schend's questions. Council member Bob Kaul shared that the safety committee met earlier Monday and discussed the noise level with the chipper and pavement basher. “We're going to request that (workers) use Hearing protection,” he said, adding that the protection would not be mandatory. Finance committee chairman Terry Schend informed council members that the committee approved budget transfers during their meeting earlier Monday. Council members unanimously approved the meeting minutes from June 1. City Council meets again Monday, July 6, at 7 p.m. in City Hall.