By ZEINAB NAJM
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR — The City Council approved a 10-year commitment with Axon Enterprises Inc worth $2.8 million for a fully tailored system for the Police Department.
Council members Tim Woolley, Angela Croft, Charley Johnson, Caroline Patts, and Butch Ramik voted in favor at the June 15 meeting, while Council members Angie Winton and Dan Bzura were opposed.
The system includes a computer automated dispatch, body and fleet cameras, Tasers, drone support, records management, fire records management and a police case management system.
Axon Enterprises is building and designing the system to specifically meet the needs for the Police Department.
Upgrade costs of $18,000 will cover computers the departments need to purchase, because 12 are needed for the stronger processing power needed.
“We’re going to need things like higher speed computers but we don’t have the technology that we need yet,” Deputy Police Chief Richard Hopper said. “Most of our stuff that we have for our department works seamlessly and will with this system too.
The computers are going to be used by dispatch and the Fire Department, for live streaming of body cameras, and redaction of videos.
Also, the new system will give the department GPS capability on body cameras to track and find out where an officer is and watch drone footage in live time.
Bzura said one of his concerns was the Information Technology and Police departments communicating and working on the project.
“I just want to clarify — working with police, we’ve always worked with police,” IT Director Snehal Patel said. “We set up the whole network over there.”
“I just see so many more things for the comparative cost of what we’re paying already,” Hopper said. “I don’t think that the IT hurdle will be a hurdle at all. We have a good relationship with Mr. Patel, I can’t see any reason why we wouldn’t continue to have a good relationship and make this happen.”