By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE – The City Council approved the bid waiver and purchase of Axon Dash Camera systems for Police Department patrol vehicles Nov. 2 to replace aging cameras, using federal drug forfeiture funds.
Assistant City Administrator and Finance Director Douglas Drysdale said in an Oct. 27 memo to the mayor and council that he concurred with purchasing the equipment from Axon Enterprises of Scottsdale, Ariz., which currently supplies the Police Department with Tasers and body cams. He confirmed forfeiture fund availability.
Mayor Joseph Kuspa said in an Oct. 28 memo that he concurred with Public Safety Director Joe Marsh’s recommendation for the bid waiver and the $181,584 purchase from Axon.
Marsh said in an Oct. 12 memo that the new equipment would replace the aging in-car L3 Video Dash Camera System and will more effectively link up with the Axon body cams worn since 2021 by Southgate police officers.
“Police dash cameras are intended to increase transparency, improve police encounters, enhance evidence pertaining to an officer encounter and provide opportunities for improvement through officer training,” he said.
Marsh said the purchase would provide 15 dash cams for patrol vehicles and would include a built-in license plate reader system. He said the contract also includes data storage, installation, and other technical support.
The plan will allow for dash cam hardware upgrades in five years at no additional cost.