Council To Consider Purchasing $9,000 Camera For Police

Council To Consider Purchasing $9,000 Camera For Police

Council To Consider Purchasing $9,000 Camera For Police Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 07 May 2019 15:26

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council will consider a proposal to purchase a new camera system for the Police Department at their upcoming May 14th, meeting.

The Town Council turned down a proposed budget amendment during their April 8th, meeting to purchase a $9,000 "Tsunami Camera".

The camera is manufactured by Asheville, NC, based Ocean 10 Security. According to Ocean 10, "The TSUNAMI is a state of the art, plug and play security camera surveillance system that can be deployed anywhere in the world then transmit live video just minutes after connecting to power. With its four ULTRA High-Definition cameras and an internal self-management system, the TSUNAMI is able to see hundreds of feet in 360° at all times: live and up to 20+ days in the past. A user can actually zoom into a person’s face or a license plate from weeks ago."

During the Council's April 8th, meeting Councilman Jodan Garza said, "I don't remember that in the budget that we spoke about last year. Is this something, the $9,000.00 that we are paying for, or is this something we budgeted and I just don't remember?"

Finance Director Debbie Hall explained, "I believe it was in the budget for last year and that was one of the items that got cut but there has been interest in Council in pursuing that now. That's the camera that would be on the bridge. We were able to find some funds in the budget and transferred over to cover that cost."

Garza explained, "As a whole, I don't remember speaking about this. Council's interest in this, this is something I have yet to hear us discuss so it's new to me. That $9,000.00 is a small number, but in comparison to our general fund it is big. I would love to have been part of that conversation. I don't know if it was three verses two or what it was, but I was no where near a heads up that we were going to spend $9,000.00 on a Tsunami Camera to put on" Snow's Cut Bridge.

Council member Leann Pierce said, "I don't recall any conversation about the price of that or really even any detailed conversation about it. Even in the Police Advisory Committee."

Other Council members agreed, there had not been detailed conversation regarding purchasing such a device.

Mayor Joe Benson said, "I know we talked about a weather station, but that's for the upcoming fiscal year."

Carolina Beach Police Chief Chris Spivey said, "That's a camera that we could deploy. It's mobile. It works on cellular devices. Something we could use for events. Stationed at the bridge would be more of a permanent location for it. We could certainly move it to different locations or perhaps the entrance to Freeman Park."
Garza said, "The question is, was this an item that we originally cut from the budget last year?"

Spivey explained, "It was cut last year yes."

Garza asked, "Why is this now being brought up in regards to transferring $9,000.00 if this is something we voted against."

Spivey explained, "I didn't know it was voted. I think it was just actually cut by the former town manager."

Benson said, "We are actually going to discuss Tsunami contingencies during the Emergency Operations Plan Open House. Let's discuss that then and get public input."

The item was listed under the Council's Consent Agenda with other items. The Council voted to remove the item pending future discussion prior to voting to approve the Consent Agenda.

Councilman Steve Shuttleworth requested that in the future when budget transfers are requested, the description of the fund from which the funds are being transferred be spelled out rather than just citing the number for the account. He explained, "We had a pretty tough budget last year. And to see that we have an extra $85,000.00 - I'm not saying it's extra - but we didn't use it for one thing. Debbie gave us a budget for carry-overs and fund balance impacts this month and we have budget carry-overs from various departments last year that was $90,000.00. Those are the kind of budget carry-overs that happen where you didn't use $30,000.00 for something but you needed to move it into another account. We just need to start understanding what's going on with those transfers because you have over $100,000.00 on here that starts to add up."

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