1 - County Council Building (Security Cameras Update)

Security camera maintenance at the Sheriff’s Department continues to stir debate among county officials as county council tables the requests for a second time.

On Oct. 20, Sheriff Reggie Nevels and other county officials stood before the county council to discuss a three-year warranty for preventative maintenance on security cameras for the department, but due to the cost and unknown timeframes, the request was tabled for reevaluation later.

Last Wednesday, commissioner Mark Bardlsey stood before the council to recommend the approval of appropriations to begin paying for the warranty.

The warranty totals to over $54,000 per year for a three-year contract, totaling upwards of $162,000 for the warranty on a $155,000 security system.

The new cost for the warranty was a surprise to many of the officials as no one was contacted by Stanley’s security until the end of the initial one-year warranty. This led to county officials attempting to work as quickly as possible to amend the issue.

“It was ending when (a Stanley’s representative) said ‘oh, by the way, you need to have an extended warranty program,’” said Bardsley. “He came to us at the end of the first-year warranty.”

If the three-year warranty is not approved soon, repairs will be made by the county on a case-by-case basis due to the lack of a warranty.

Since Bardsley’s last visit, 12 cameras were reported with issues that could require maintenance or replacement in the near future and a case-by-case basis may be even less cost-efficient.

Bardsley assured that the warranty covers preventative maintenance, which is already part of the cost in repairs. The warranty will cover replacements alongside other maintenance, saving the county almost $700 per camera if replaced.

Council immediately questioned the use of security cameras from the business formerly known as Stanley’s after receiving the cost estimate.

It was stated that if enough cameras and equipment break to warrant a $54,000 wareanty, then the county should seek other suppliers.

“I guess this one’s a hard one for me to swallow just because of the initial cost and now you’re going to do a three-year warranty. I think we got taken advantage of. That’s the way I feel,” said council President Shane Middlesworth. “The Sheriff alluded to Stanley being the best equipment company, but to have that many cameras fail in a short amount of time should show that.”

Other council members began to agree with both Middlesworth and Bardsley about how the prices seem too expensive, but the need for a warranty is a necessary to address.

“Those are the people that we paid $155,000 to set it up. Now, those same people want another $162,000,” said councilman Mike Roorbach. “I guess I was expecting something more to come back then just asking for the money. We asked for a solution and this isn’t a solution.”

Bardsley responded that the council either needs to vote to accept the warranty or the county may have to walk away from the system as a whole. However, the council pushed for a compromise.

Director of Information Technology for the Economic Growth Council Marcus Elliott has been tasked with evaluating the cameras and the security system to find better solutions than the warranty, possibly switching the system to a different server.

Council and Elliott also proposed the implementation of a new job within the IT department that would focus on the cameras as well as the new broadband being installed in the county. The new position would likely be more cost-efficient than the three-year warranty as the job description would cover more maintenance areas and would likely pay less than or equal to $54,000 per year.

Council decided to table the request for a second time, ruling to have a meeting between the council and the commissioners later in November to early December to decide the route the county will take on the warranty or pursue other routes with the system.

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