SALISBURY – The Salisbury City Council voted unanimously to pass a number of required legal actions, including more state funding for a major crime initiative as well as directing speed camera revenue to police purchases.
Additional State Funding
Secured For Safe Streets
The City Council approved a resolution accepting state grant funds through the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention in the amount of $10,000. The money was awarded as an addendum to the Safe Streets Grant that was awarded July 15 and was in the amount of about $280,000.
According to Police Chief Barbara Duncan, the additional funding has been specifically earmarked for projects that through environmental changes within a particular residential or business area help reduce crime and the fear of crime.
The Resolution states, “The City of Salisbury’s Safe Streets program addresses high incidences of crime in the city and surrounding areas. The grant funds will provide for overtime for police officers, a Safe Street Coordinator, a light and noise meter, pole security camera, fencing, security mirrors, and shrubbery. The a portion of the Camden area of the City of Salisbury was selected as the initial site based on crime data analysis indicating high incidents of criminal behavior.”
On Service Center
Next on the table was a resolution to enter into A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) accepting use of and authorization to conduct repair on 511 Decatur Avenue for the purpose of utilizing the property as a city service center.
According to the Resolution, the City of Salisbury will enter into a three-year MOU agreement with The Wicomico Housing Authority for the use of 511 Decatur Ave as a city service center. The City of Salisbury will invest in refurbishment to the exterior and interior of the property for suitable accommodations so the property may be utilized as a city service center. The refurbishment to the property will be at the expense of the city of Salisbury, which is estimated at $10,000. The police department currently has funds available in the police services building maintenance account to cover the estimated cost of the refurbishment of the property.
Salisbury Poilce Major David Meienshein submitted, the investment in and use of this property will greatly enhance the capability of Salisbury public service such as police, code compliance, and public works by providing a satellite location to conduct city business, provide additional workspace, and provide a location to have community meetings in an area that is in need of enhanced services.
At the end of the three-year MOU, the property may be returned to the Wicomico Housing Authority with repairs in place at no cost to the housing authority unless the city and housing authority both agree to reenter into another MOU extending the use of the property to the city.
More Public Notification
For Charter Changes
According to Interim City Administrator Tom Stevenson, during a recent council work session discussion, a request was made to require enhanced notification of proposed charter changes to ensure that the public is afforded sufficient time to provide input.
This week a resolution came before the City Council to amend the Charter of the City of Salisbury to require publication of charter changed and a public hearing before such amendments to the charter are considered and to reflect the recodification of state law.
The Resolution states, “Maryland State Law only requires publication of charter amendments after any changes have been adopted by a municipal governing body in its usual course of business, and does not require publication in a newspaper of general circulation before adoption of the amendments. Posting alone may not notify the public of important charter changes and may result in charter changes being debated and voted on without the public’s input.
The Salisbury City Council has concluded that it is in the best interest of City residents to require the publication of a statement of the substance of any charter changes in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Salisbury and a public hearing in advance of adoption of an amendment by the Council in order to inform the public of important changes to the Charter.”
The Charter will now state, “Resolutions introduced by the Council to change the Charter of the City of Salisbury shall require a public hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be printed in a newspaper of general circulation in the City and posted at some public place in the City in advance of the public hearing and prior to a vote by the Council on the Resolution.”
Speed Camera Revenue
Directed For Police Use
An ordinance approached the City Council in second reading approving a budget amendment of the Fiscal Year 2014 General Fund to appropriate funds received from the speed camera program for the purchase of a Cellebrite UFED Touch.
The Ordinance states, “the Cellebrite UFED Touch is a device that is used to perform forensic data extraction from cell phones, tablets, iPads, GPS, and other electronic devices. Investigators have been able to obtain stored and deleted data files to include but not limited to: text messages, photographs, videos, and contact lists.”
The Police Department has sufficient funds in the Police Services Equipment Account to pay the vender, Cellebrite USA, Inc. in the amount of about $8,000. This technology is critical for criminal investigations and in the past has greatly assisted investigators to solve Part I criminal activity, and SPD requests the surplus of the old and obsolete Cellebrite Unit to be traded for $4,000 towards a credit for a new Cellebrite unit.
The next ordinance was in first reading to approve a budget amendment of the Fiscal Year 2013 General Fund to appropriate funds received from the speed camera program for purchase of eight Glock training handguns for simunitions training.
According to the ordinance, SPD is requesting the purchase of eight Glock Simunitions Training Handguns in the amount of about $4,000. Glock training handguns are only capable of firing low velocity simunitions projectiles. These training handguns have the general appearance of Glock handgun however, are engineered in such a way fire only simunitions.
Simunitions are described as low velocity plastic casings containing a colored, non-staining, paint like substance. Simunitions are discharged at low velocity and only have enough power to “paint mark” the target to show a strike. The strike does not have the power to penetrate the skin but may leave a slight red mark, welt or bruise in some circumstances. Proper eye, throat, and groin protection is required to be worn during training as a precautionary measure.
Simunitions training is the most realistic and “real world” technology that law enforcement has available in order to prepare police officers for “active shooter” scenarios that could be encountered. Simunitions give the trainee and training instructor the ability to assess a trainee’s level of expertise and further identify training needs.