Chief Mefford talks grant for in-car camera equipment could save city around $45,000

By Blake Schnitker on May 15 at 12:49pm

The city of Jacksonville is likely to save more than $45,000 thanks to a grant that the Jacksonville Police Department recently received for in-car camera equipment.

At last night’s city council meeting, Jacksonville Police Chief Adam Mefford approached local aldermen with information regarding a grant his department had received from the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, or ILETSB. While the city council had already budgeted $120-thousand dollars for the purchase of camera equipment to be installed in local squad cars, Chief Mefford explained to the council last night that, now that the department has received the ILETSB grant, he’s working on a May 30th deadline to continue working with ILETSB on the installation process.

Since there is only one more planned city council meeting for the month of May, Chief Mefford said he wanted to relay that information to the council and ask for their approval to continue moving forward with the project.

Mefford says the local police department filed a request for the grant after attending a criminal justice summit in southern Illinois back in March.

“Some members of ILETSB had mentioned that there was some camera grant money out there which was for law enforcement to apply for, which covered reimbursement or new purchase of in-car video cameras or body cameras. The savings to the city of Jacksonville through the grant will be about $45,000, so it’s going to be a substantial savings to the taxpayers by obtaining this grant. The reason I brought this up (last night) is so that we could get the ball rolling on it because we are on a specific deadline to use that grant money, so we don’t want to lose it,” says Mefford.

Aside from the fact that this grant is likely to save the city around $45,000, Mefford explains that, by receiving this grant, the city can accomplish multiple projects at the same time.

“When we originally put in the proposal for each individual department to upgrade their things, we estimated the cost for these camera system, which would also include equipment, installation, and a server. We did learn that the server that we will be obtaining through that, will be compatible with another project that we wanted to do down the road where we want to upgrade our video and audio recording rooms,” Mefford explains.

Mefford goes over the two deadlines he’s working on as it pertains to the ILETSB grant.

“We’ve already had the okay of the funds there, it’s just now permission to purchase it. May 30th is the first deadline to accept the grant money, then June 30th is the deadline to provide them with all of the information in order to get the full reimbursement. So we’re just working on a quick deadline so that’s why I wanted to bring it to the council’s attention so I can keep proceeding with the paperwork and things, so that next week, when we get approval to purchase it, we’re just ready to go,” Mefford says

With Memorial Day falling on Monday, May 28th, last night the Jacksonville City Council agreed on having their second monthly meeting a week prior. Further details regarding the ILETSB grant, as well as where things are in terms of the process, will be available following next Monday’s meeting.