More federal stimulus money is coming to Gainesville, and again, it’s going to the Gainesville Police Department.
The department has been awarded $40,000 for technology improvements. The grant requires no local cash match, and awaits City Council’s acceptance.
Interim Police Chief Jane Nichols said the money will go toward a server and wireless transfer system for officers’ in-car video cameras. The system will allow officers to transfer videos taken during their shifts to the department’s server, bypassing the need to keep videotapes.
The technology will open up storage space in the department, which has had to file videotapes in its property and evidence room.
Nichols said the new technology will also reduce the number of video errors and allow night-shift supervisors to view video whenever they need to. Night-shift supervisors in the past have not able to check out videos from in-car cameras because the custodian for property and evidence works during the day, Nichols said.
"It becomes a pretty cumbersome process, and it takes up a lot of space," Nichols said.
The police department regularly reviews videos from pursuits, and when it receives complaints, Nichols said.
"The video documentation is invaluable when we’re doing an internal investigation," Nichols said.
When it is approved, Nichols said the system should be up and running within nine to 12 months.
She said the department likely will wait until it moves into the new Public Safety Facility to install the new equipment.
The council is expected to accept the second set of stimulus funds for the department at its meeting Monday.
In July, the city’s police department received a grant of nearly $105,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice. The department planned to spend that money on new laptop computers for patrol cars, Taser guns and patrol rifles.
On Thursday, Nichols presented the most recent grant to the City Council at its work session.
"I’ve got $40,000 here," she said.
It was well received.
"We’ll take it," Councilman George Wangemann responded.