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Board accepts $2,695 grant for installation of video camera system in Property Room

By Bill Short

Flag City LogoThe Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously accepted a $2,695 grant this week to install a video camera system in the police department’s Property Room.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Hank Hawkins and seconded by Alderman Chris Ford.
The grant was provided by the Memphis 100 Club, which was chartered in 1956 to be a support organization for all police and fire departments in Memphis and Shelby County. Its grants are used to purchase equipment that is “necessary and vital” to the operation of those departments.
During discussion shortly before the vote, City Finance Director John Trusty said this grant will fund the installation of an “IP-based intelligent” video camera system that will be a “significant enhancement” to the police department’s control over its Property and Evidence Room.
He noted that this is something the city had planned to do as part of the “change in procedures” at the department.
Trusty also said that, using “existing budgetary funds,” the department has already installed a new “pass-through locker system” that allows seized items to be stored when the “property officer” is not on duty.
“That has been built into the wall now,” he noted. “It’s a contained unit.”
The finance director said all the “planned improvements” for control of the Property Room are “in process” or have already been implemented.
In response to a question by Alderman Mike Caruthers, Trusty said he will ask Police Chief Arthur Heun to give the board a “list” of those.
Heun has said the department has “tweaked” its processes and locked down access to the Property Room key. He also noted that the safes in the room have been repaired and are “functional.”
The department also now has what the chief calls the “ice machine room,” a 48-by-48-by-90-inch “cage” where large seized property can be stored when the property officer is not on duty.
He has noted that the pass-through locker system required “a little construction work” to remove a section of the Property Room door, where there are lockers. So, after the door is shut, there is no key to it or padlock.
“And it can’t be accessed except through the Property Room by the property clerk,” he has said. “So, there’s no opportunity for anybody to have access to any of the property once it’s placed in these lockers.”
Heun has told Caruthers he feels “comfortable” that the department has a process in place that will “preclude” another theft like the one that occurred in August 2015.
“I think our policies and procedures are there to begin with,” he has said. “If followed strictly and as they’re written, it will prohibit anything like that from happening.”
Heun has also noted that, after the new equipment is installed, he will “redo” the process and write a “whole new procedure and policy” to update it.

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