Duck upgrades police evidence management system
Published 6:22 pm Monday, August 19, 2019
Duck Town Council took a step forward in police evidence management Wednesday with the approval of a five-year contract with Axon Enterprise Inc.
According to Chief of Police John Cueto, the $148,125.25 contract implements an integrated system of body camera and evidence management with a first year cost of $9,857.17 followed by four years at $34,567.02 each year.
“Our long-term relationship with Axon has allowed me to negotiate a very attractive offer,” said Cueto. “Our current TASER weapons and body cameras are nearing the end of their safe life cycle and as directed, I spent much of the last year working with Axon to put together a replacement package that will allow us to leverage the most current technology while continuing to integrate and expand our systems.”
Cueto explained that in past years, company products were purchased a-la-carte as capital expenditures. That turned out to not always be the most cost-effective purchasing option. The solution is the Officer Safety Plan Plus, a program that bundles the Axon products and services needed into one package and spreads the cost over a five-year period.
Cueto said he was able to negotiate a first year fee that covered replacement costs of various items scheduled to be upgraded with the immediate replacement of existing TASER and body cameras. There will also be body camera replacements in years three and five of the contract.
Cueto went on to say a desirable part of the new package is the retrofitting of existing sidearm holsters with a sensor that will turn on an officer’s in-car and body cameras the moment the officer’s firearm is removed from the holster. This insures audio/video coverage of a critical incident involving an officer’s firearm is always captured. Taking it a step further, all officers’ cameras at a scene can be automatically activated at the same time.
Other benefits include an avenue for public evidence submissions through any web-enabled smartphone. That means citizens can submit photos, videos, audio recordings and other types of evidence directly to officers who can view it. In addition, there is a software platform running within Evidence.com that will streamline the supervisor review and documentation process and allow reviews by the District Attorney’s Office without the time-consuming procedure of copying digital evidence and hand delivering it to the courthouse.
Cueto said the five-year contract works out to $2,468.75 annually per officer.
In other business for the night, council:
– authorized the Planning Board to consider zoning ordinance amendments that will allow for greater use of pervious and semi-pervious parking surface materials on commercial properties.
– directed town manager Chris Layton to work on the details of a surf rescue services contract that more accurately displays baseline costs.
– deferred action on any public beach access discussions while the town’s land use plan update continues. A review is of the plan is expected at the board retreat in February. In the meantime, Layton will work with the town attorney to determine what legal options and potential opportunities exist within the existing basic framework.