Chatham Co. Commission unanimously approves locators in all SCMP - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Chatham Co. Commission unanimously approves locators in all SCMPD vehicles

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

A big part of the police merger between the City of Savannah and Chatham County is understanding and agreeing on cost share.

The police policy committee decided Automatic Vehicle Locators inside each police vehicle would be the best way to track police presence in your neighborhood, whether in the city or unincorporated Chatham County.

It was a unanimous vote at Chatham County Commission to move forward with getting the MotionLink Automatic Vehicle Locators for all of SCMPD's fleet vehicles.

Both the County Commission and City Council believe the technology will play an integral part in balancing a number of time patrols spend in certain areas, and what each governmental body should be chipping in for police services.

"It's really going to show accountability of the city and of the county, and what our costs should be,” said Chatham County Manager Lee Smith. 

While the roll-out of the new technology is slated for sometime this fall, the county's 147 SCMPD fleet vehicles will be the first priority to be outfitted, followed by 462 city-owned police vehicles.

"You've heard the commission say we want to know, are we getting service out in the county. Well know you're going to know when they're there, but also folks in the city get pulled out in the county. So we'll be able to know when that happens and find a good balance, but also set standards of how many vehicles do we want at certain hours and set standards and accountability back so we'll know when officers are out there, and when they're not,” said Smith.

Overall, the primary goal of the new tech is to generate reports and maps to track and document vehicle activity in different jurisdictions and manage officer patrols.

At Thursday night’s islands crime meeting, 4th district Commissioner Pat Farrell listened to the concerns of those residents in the unincorporated areas, and brought his own concerns to the county manager today.

"Knowing that the cars are going to crisscross jurisdictional lines, I certainly hope that there's been some thought from our ICS folks on how they're going to pull that data, and make it meaningful to the commissioners so that we understand how much time officers are spending in their patrol cars in the unincorporated area,” said Commissioner Ferrell.

Smith says the data is not only about creating cost balance between the county and city.

"But also set standards and accountability back so we'll know when officers are out there, and when they're not,” said Smith.

Here's a look at the breakdown of the contract between the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department and Motion-Link.

Over a five-year period, both the City of Savannah and Chatham County will both chip in a little more than a half a million dollars for the technology and the subscription for the service.

Smith says the GPS system is not only for the budget bottom line but also for officer safety and to maximize productivity within the fleet.

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