The Howell Police Department is upgrading patrol car camera systems.

The Howell City Council met recently and approved the purchase of the L3 Mobil Vision in car camera system at a cost of $63,707. The cameras are ten years old and need to be replaced. The purchase was budgeted for but involved a shifting of fiscal years due to some delays.

City Manager Shea Charles says life expectancy on these in-car digital camera systems is five years. He says the last time they updated the system; they only did the back end software and did not replace the cameras. This time they’re replacing the full system, so there will be new cameras and back end software and hardware to make the system function. He says the cameras are ten years old while the back office hardware and software , as well as additional hardware in the car to transit to the servers etc, is five years old.

Some council members questioned if the purchase was necessary, given tough budget times, and wondered if it could potentially be delayed. While the department could maybe get another year out of them, it was noted there is no warranty and the department would have to pay for the full cost of repairs. There was also a reduced price being offered. Howell Attorney Dennis Perkins spoke up about the benefits and importance of having working cameras, which are critical from an operational standpoint. The cameras were said to be an essential item necessary for any police department, which prove invaluable when documenting proof in different incidents. (JM)