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Police Department searches for architect, new in-car video system

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Two issues were brought up for the Spencer Police Department during last night's Public Safety Committee meeting.

The first being Chief Mark Lawson recommending an architect for the renovations needed for the department's move to the Spencer Municipal Utility buildings. And the second being a request for new in-car video systems for law enforcement vehicles.

Lawson recommended the local Spencer firm Cannon Moss Brygger Architects to take on the renovation project, which would be three separate projects according to Lawson.

This recommendation was made because the firm is familiar with the SMU buildings and layout. It would go a lot quicker with them, Lawson said. Cannon Moss did an expansion for SMU.

"I agree with the Chief's recommendation," City Manager Bod Fagen said.

The three-part project would include work on an administration building, communication center and the building holding locker rooms and holding cells.

There is concern with the communication center, though. The current center is using out-dated equipment, according to Lawson, and the department is afraid to shut it off until the new center is up and running.

Chief Lawson brought up a request to change the in-car video systems the department uses as well.

Currently, Spencer police are using DVD systems that store video on discs, but the seven systems the department have aren't performing at 100 percent. Four are working 60 percent of the time, while the other three don't work most of the time, Lawson said.

Lawson requested changing to an all-digital system, which would cost an estimated $35,000-$50,000. A big reason behind the change is the fact the DVD disc skips at times and doesn't record everything. This could mean not having evidence in a case, which could turn out bad for the department.

Lawson said within two months the department should have the new digital systems.

"The sooner the better," City Council member Steve Bomgaars said.

Lawson would like to buy the systems from L3 Communications Mobile-Vision Inc., but he will have more figures and options in two weeks to present at the next meeting.

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The city has to build holding cells and the county has to hire at least 3 more jailers because the city and the county could not cooperate and stay together in a new shared building. How much does this move really cost over a thirty year time frame. Lets see 30 years times $60000 per employee times 3 employees equals 5.4 million tax dollars. But I sure this is better because.......

-- Posted by Bison on Tue, Jan 15, 2013, at 6:52 AM

Holding cells are not the same as a jail cell. a holding cell is for a person to be put in to "hold" them. They are used to keep a person in a locked room while they are waiting to be questioned. A holding room is also used in cases involving juveniles because a juvenile cant be put into a jail cell. They are a needed item.

-- Posted by olmanhawk on Tue, Jan 15, 2013, at 5:52 PM

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