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Jackson Police Department to get new body cameras

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Jackson police officers will get new state-of-the-art body-worn cameras this year. The Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen accepted the quote of $26,702.62 per year for five years from Axon Enterprises of Scottsdale, AZ, for the purchase of body worn cameras for the police department, and authorized a contract.

In a memo to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, Police Chief James Humphreys stated, “We are in need of a total upgrade of our body worn camera program. This year we have done our research, along with trial and testing, and have found what we believe are the best available cameras and software going today and what most law enforcement agencies are using on a national scale.”

During a study session on Dec. 19, Humphreys spoke to the aldermen about this purchase request.

“We’re looking for the best out there,” Humphreys said. “I think we need to have the best when it comes to our cameras, transparency and accountability.”

Humphreys said the new cameras have a higher quality night vision capability than the current cameras and they have built-in GPS “which will tell us where the officer is. If they go down for any reason, we can locate them within feet.”

Humphreys said the current body camera program “has fallen short” of expectations, providing poor quality video in low light situations and having short battery life.

The cost for the new cameras fits within the police department budget, Humphreys told the Board Dec. 18.

In other action

• Mobile office: The aldermen authorized city staff to prepare an application for a special use permit for a temporary mobile office and sleeping quarters in a C-3 (central business) district at Fire Station No. 1, 525 S. Hope St. If the special use permit is approved, the temporary facilities will be used by firefighters as the fire station is being renovated.

• Depository agreements: The Mayor was authorized to sign depository agreements with Commerce Bank, First Midwest Bank, First Missouri State Bank, the Bank of Missouri, US Bank and Wood & Huston Bank.

• Comprehensive Plan Update: The aldermen agreed to grant a six month time extension to Houseal Lavigne Associates, LLC, of Chicago, IL, for its work on the 2022 Jackson Comprehensive Plan Update.

• Old Orchard Town Homes Subdivision: The aldermen approved a preliminary plat of Old Orchard Town Homes Subdivision, as submitted by Fruitland Investments, LLC, and Lydon Properties, LLC.

• Good Day Farm Subdivision: The aldermen approved the final plat of good Day Farm Subdivision, as submitted by Jackson Boulevard Holdings, LLC. (This subdivision is located across from the Jackson Aldi store.)

• Civic Center pavilion and playground: A bid from Fronabarger Concreters, Inc. of Oak Ridge in the amount of $154,778.50 was accepted and a contract was authorized for work on the Civic Center Pavilion & Playground Grading Site Work Project.

• Alcohol sales: No one from the public (except for the applicant and his wife) spoke during study session regarding Scotty Miget’s request to be able to sell alcoholic beverages (beer) in his business, TeeED OFF Golf and Performance, which is located at 121 W. Main St. That location is next door to a church.

State law prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages within 100 feet of a church or school, but cities are allowed to waive or modify this requirement.

Letters from the city to residents within 100 feet of the business generated no response from the public.

The aldermen will take action on this item at the next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

• Net metering: By state statute, Jackson is required to allow customers to have net metering equipment, such as solar panels or wind turbines, attached to its infrastructure as long as they do not exceed 100 kilowatts each, per customer, in design capacity.

The City is obligated to allow customers on a first-come, first-served basis to attach their equipment until five percent of the prior yearly peak demand is reached. Jackson’s peak demand in 2023 was 39.8 megawatts, according to a written report from Don Schuette, director of electric utilities.

The total number of customer-generator facilities (solar panel configurations) is 70. The total estimated generating capacity of net-metered customer-generators is 654.67 kilowatts. The total estimated net kilowatt hours received from customer generators is 353,288, Schuette wrote.

According to City Administrator Jim Roach, the city has now reached about a third of the maximum capacity of solar or wind-powered electricity generation that is allowed.

• City water depot: Public Works Director Janet Sanders said the city’s water depot, which is the only one in the area, is in need of upgrades. (The nearest one is in Marble Hill.) The depot machine sells water to contractors and others by bulk weight, but only accepts quarters. A $6,000 upgrade will allow the depot machine to accept $1 and $5 bills.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at cashbook@mvp.net.

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