Linden City Council improves police patrol car technology

Published 11:45 am Thursday, March 1, 2018

On Feb. 20, the Linden City Council held a meeting during which the council approved the purchase of five Verizon Wireless Jetpack devices and associated internet access for approximately $2,457. The devices will be placed in police cars and will give officers internet access in their vehicles.

This will allow officers to perform tasks such as issuing e-tickets and geo-locating without coming into Linden City Hall.

Jeremy Jones, a Verizon Wireless representative, said that similar technology is used “in many other public safety vehicles throughout the county.”

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Each device will have unlimited data, but speed will be throttled after 25 GB of use. The jetpacks can also be monitored so that only one computer can access the internet service.

City Clerk Susie Ford expressed interest in locking the devices after a certain amount of data is used to prevent employees from using the data for personal use.

Chief Robert Alston was in favor of the services.

“I think it’ll be a great tool,” he said.

Alston said that it would be helpful when requesting things such as stop signs or detailing car accidents due to the geo-locating services. They will also be able to file reports from their vehicles.

Other items discussed by the council are:

• Mayor Charles Moore reminded the city council of the ongoing projects at Scott Park, which are making the bathrooms handicap accessible and repairing the bleachers.

• The council discussed providing overtime pay for members of the police department who worked on days when Linden City Hall was closed due to inclement weather. Chief Alston advised against it because inclement weather may cause the city hall to close for multiple days in a row. The council did not approve the overtime pay.

• City Attorney Woody Dinning Jr. will write two more letters to tree trimmers in city limits who have not been properly disposing of limbs that they cut.

• The mayor also discussed the fact that garbage is being dumped in Linden’s Limb and Leaf dump area. He said that “They will be pursued by the police chief.”

• The city council approved the renewal of Mediacom’s franchise for the city of Linden.

• The city council approved the placing two dumpsters at the Linden Athletic Field to aid in cleaning the area.

• The city council approved the relocation of the Marengo County Rescue Squad. They will move to 402 S. Main St.

• The city council discussed grants for festivities honoring Alabama’s bicentennial in 2019. They qualify for a $2,500 grant. Bruce Ward said that he would apply for it and tie it into ChiLLyFest. The mayor also told the council that they would be forwarded information for more grants in the future.

• Ward announced that Easter at the Gazebo is scheduled for March 31.

• The council approved the purchase of fireworks for ChiLLyFest for $6,000.

• Jan Cannon volunteered to represent the Linden City Council on a committee considering contracted EMS for Marengo County.

• The city council entered an executive session on the basis of good name and character. No decision was made regarding the executive session.

The Linden City Council meets at 4:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month at city hall.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, February 24 issue of the Demopolis Times.)