Council boosts DPD budget for officers’ body cam video storage

Demopolis’ City Council approved an additional $3,318 per year for five years Monday night for digital storage of video data from police officers’ body cameras.

Police Chief Tommie Reese reminded the council that he was able to obtain 12 body cameras for officers a year ago at no cost to the city. Reese noted that iCloud video storage prices have increased with recent incidents such as Ferguson, Mo., but he also emphasized the value of body cameras.

The chief referenced a recent shooting in Selma. “That officer would probably be indicted right now if not for his body camera,” Reese said. He also used a local example when a motorist claimed a DPD officer handled her roughly and used profanity during a traffic stop. He said video from the incident proved that the officer acted properly.

Will Moore Jr., a resident of Eaton Drive, complained to the council about his garbage not being picked up on Thursdays. Moore said service is generally better toward first of each month, then slacks off.

Mayor Mike Grayson said calls have been made by the city on Moore’s behalf and that service improved temporarily, but the mayor assured Moore that the city will get involved once again to improve the situation.

City Attorney Bill Poole told the council there has been limited activity on dilapidated housing during the holidays, but efforts to improve those properties will resume with the new year.

City Clerk Sam Gross informed the council that bids on the Rosenbush Building Warehouse will be accepted until noon on Feb. 5. Bids will be opened at 2 p.m. that day. The request for bids is being published as a legal notice, as required.

The council opted to seek bids for the repair of a collapsing concrete culvert underneath Herbert Street, which has blocked one lane of the street for several weeks. Public Works Director Mike Baker pointed out that the city could bypass the bid process if it declared the situation an emergency. He said a local contractor had provided an estimate of $43,000 for the repairs, and that he had talked to two other contractors who were not interested in the project.