Vidalia squad cars may get cameras

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NATCHEZ — Vidalia Police cars might soon be equipped with dashboard video cameras.

Vidalia aldermen unanimously adopted a resolution to approve an application for a $12,000 grant to place the cameras in four police cars.

Mayor Hyram Copeland said the camera footage would be accessible by other police car units as well as the police station.

Email newsletter signup

If a second officer is called to a scene, that officer can see the footage of the incident ahead of time, Copeland said.

Patrol units will likely be the first cars to get the cameras if the grant is awarded, Copeland said. But the city will apply for the funds every year until all units are equipped, Copeland said.

“This would be an asset to police department,” Copeland said. “I’m excited about it, and we’ll eventually have it in all cars.”

The funds the city will apply for will come from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, a partnership among federal, state and local governments to create safer communities.

The program allows state and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime based on their own local needs and conditions.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting:

4 Vidalia resident John Brocato appeared before to address a problem at Hammer’s Drive-Thru.

Brocato said cars waiting in line at the business’s drive-thru window, especially on weekends, lines up on the shoulder of the road and create a safety hazard. He said cars are not supposed to park on the shoulder, and the police should enforce it.

Board attorney Scott McLemore suggested the board research the legalities of cars that are stopped on the road and try to resolve the issue with the owners.

Brocato said the situation is also dangerous for employees of Hammer’s who sometimes walk up to cars stopped on the shoulder to take orders.

4 The board adopted municipal water pollution prevention resolution. Copeland said the board adopts the resolution every year.

4 The board approved sign applications for Fred’s, Warshaw Chiropractic Clinic, LLC at 1629 Carter St. and The Picket Fence at 1108 Carter St.

The board approved occupational license and sign application for the Law Office of Jordan Dale, 401-A Lynn St.