The Racine Police Department is preparing to upgrade one of its crime-fighting tools.
The department is set to purchase video file management software that will help its officers use video cameras to monitor and record criminal activity. The program will help the department - and eventually all city departments - organize photos and videos for easy access, said Deputy Chief Tom Christensen, who presented the software to the Finance and Personnel Committee Monday night.
For police, that will mean storing evidence for trials and ongoing investigations. It will also mean officers will be able to access neighborhood video cameras on laptops from their squad cars and catch suspects in the act from blocks away. Videos can be saved for up 90 days, which will allow investigators to review surveillance cameras.
Christensen said the Racine Unified School District and local businesses, like banks, may also be able to link into the system to help police monitor activity.
The committee voted unanimously to allow the police department waive formal bidding to buy the software from the Tough Solutions company. The city's information systems department researched the software and confirmed it was compatible with existing systems, Christensen said.
The Finance and Personnel Committee voted to renew the Racine County Economic Development Corp.'s contract with the city for 2010. The $69,400 contract will be paid out of the shared revenue from the city's sewer agreement with its neighboring communities. The City Council will vote on the contract next week.
RCEDC, part 2
The committee also voted to renew RCEDC's $55,000 contract for brownfield redevelopment. "Brownfields" are polluted lands unsuitable for development without cleansing. RCEDC coordinates efforts to clean up brownfields in Racine, which includes identifying properties that need remediation and finding grants to pay for the remediation.
RCEDC plans to focus on the former Racine Steel Castings and Walker manufacturing sites for its brownfield program, according to Tina Chitwood, a community development specialist with RCEDC.
The committee voted unanimously to renew the contract. The City Council will vote on the proposal next week.
Breast feeding grant
The city's Health Department is set to receive $17,656 from the state for a breast feeding peer counselor. The counselor is part of the city's WIC program, which serves 1,700 clients in Racine. The Finance and Personnel Committee voted to accept the grant, which requires no city money. The City Council is set to finalize the grant next week.
City fee goes down
Here's a change: A city fee is going down. The area's household hazardous waste program will cost local property owners $2.40 this year, down from $4 in 2009, according to Keith Haas, general manager of Racine's utilities. The drop in price is because the program's $100,000 annual cost is now spread over all communities east of I-94.
The Finance and Personnel Committee voted to accept the decrease, and the council will finalize the price next week.