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Aldermen don’t agree with Sardis police about cameras

There is such a big concern about drug trafficking in Sardis that interim chief Bobby West suggested the Mayor and Board of Alderman consider putting cameras in problem areas.

West suggested a system which will put three cameras pointing different directions at two locations. They will monitor 24 hours and color feed will be transmitted back to a monitor.

After the initial installation of $1,800 per pole and the $2,315.63 contract cost, the monitoring service is $5,782 per year to lease the system for 36 months. There will also be some C-spire ($34 per month) and Entergy costs associated with the wifi and electrical portions of the cameras.

West gave statistics in Holly Springs, Chicago and Tunica that crime dropped dramatically in each of the areas that used this particular camera system. “It is proven effective in the cities that have this,” West said.

West used the cost of having these cameras as having another two officers on the street at a decidedly reduced price. During the budget process at the end of the summer, it was estimated it would cost $30,000 for each new officer to cover Sardis.

Alderwoman Bonnie Smith asked for a more compressive report from West to be brought to a future meeting. “There was no substantiated  evidence to warrant such a report in the particular neighborhoods he mentioned,” Smith said after the meeting.

Alderman-at-large Michael Price said he felt insulted. “I know it’s my neighborhood he was talking about. There is a house where some people gather, cook out, drink a little. If someone they didn’t know came in the neighborhood selling drugs, they would ask what they were doing. Then they would tell me.”

If there was a drug problem in those neighborhoods, Price said the Chief needs to get the county drug task force involved.