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Natchez police to get GPS in squad cars

 

NATCHEZ — Soon, all of the Natchez Police Department’s vehicles could be monitored by GPS tracking systems after the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen unanimously agreed to earmark a portion of casino gaming revenue to install the systems during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting.

The cost is approximately $3,400 for 34 systems to go in all of the police units and an additional $7,344 each year for the systems to go online, Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said.

The systems would digitally update officials on the locations of each of the vehicles every 30 seconds, Armstrong said, as well as send alerts whenever vehicles brake hard, accelerate too quickly, exceed a set speed limit or travel outside of city limits.

“There are two major components to having these GPS systems,” Armstrong said. “One is officer safety and the second is accountability. … Of those two major functions, the first is the most important. If an officer is out someplace and something were to happen and that officer could not respond on his radio, this GPS would help us locate that vehicle. … Accountability is also important if we have an officer choose to not patrol this city or stay in one position the entire shift.”

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said the initial cost of $10,744 could be taken out of $283,800 received this year from casino gaming revenue, and the board unanimously approved a motion to that effect.