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City Council to vote on moving forward with YPD body cameras

Sgt. Jose Morales Jr. said the department expects to get body camera proposals from Axon, G-Tech Solutions, BodyWorn, Motorola and other companies. 
Youngstown City Hall
(Photo by William D. Lewis | Mahoning Matters)

YOUNGSTOWN — City Council will vote Wednesday on whether the Youngstown Police Department should move forward with plans for all officers to have body cameras.

The city of Youngstown plans to solicit proposals from qualified vendors best suited to provide body camera and data storage information to YPD. 

YPD is looking to get a price estimate for 150 body cameras from each company.

YPD Chief Carl Davis said 150 cameras are not the number the department would lock in at, and the number would be used for a cost estimate. The total number of officers and detectives who would receive the cameras has yet to be determined.

Sgt. Jose Morales Jr. said the department expects to get body camera proposals from Axon, G-Tech Solutions, BodyWorn, Motorola and other companies. 

Finance Director Kyle Miasek said each company will give cost estimates, how cameras work and what is required for data storage. 

The companies would then be scored on product quality and cost, Miasek said. Once a vendor is determined, YPD would come back to City Council for further input and discussions. 

The department currently has 16 officers on a trial period for the Axon Body 3 cameras. The department also hosted a town hall to show how the cameras work and how they are a benefit to both YPD and the community.

Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said he wants to start the proposal process sooner than later to see who will give the city “the best deal.”

Wastewater treatment plant

City Council will also vote on whether to approve entering into a professional service contract with the most qualified consultant for preliminary design modeling for the wastewater treatment plant. 

The cost would not exceed $1.8 million and is part of a three-phase project with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Phase two of the project would provide additional hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, wet weather metering and update of the preliminary design modeling for the high rate treatment facility at the wastewater treatment plant.

Chuck Shasho, deputy director of Public Works, said the city’s hydraulic and hydrologic model has not been updated in about 30 years. 

Law Director Jeff Limbian said there is a federal consent agreement that requires the city to do three phases of the wastewater project. 

The city is currently in discussions with the Ohio EPA to try to minimize what is required by the agreements, Limbian said. By analyzing this model, the city could create a new plan that fits the economic and wastewater models so the city would not have to abide by the current consent agreement. 

Limbian said it is not likely that there will be a negative outcome for the city to complete this phase. 

“[The Ohio EPA seems] amenable and agreeable that we have to have time to study it so that we're not thrown into a situation where we're spending multiple millions of dollars when it may not be necessary,” Limbian said. 

Miasek said the investment in this project would see where the city currently stands by analyzing and updating the model.

The city is expecting to receive information from companies qualified for the project and pick a company by October 2022. The project would then start in winter 2022. 

Shasho said phase two to complete the model is expected to be done by 2023. 

Phase one was improvements to the wastewater treatment plant and is almost complete. Phase three to complete Mill Creek MetroParks is expected to be finished by 2033. 

Health department overtime

City Council will also vote on approving $24,300 in overtime to employees in the Youngstown City Health District for work performed during the COVID-19 pandemic between January and March 2021. 

The health department overtime and payments include:

  • Erin Bishop would receive about $9,915 for 179 hours.
  • Lillian Cunningham would receive about $1,113 for 38.5 hours.
  • Rick Dezsi would receive about $580 for 16.5 hours.
  • Anthea Mickens would receive about $8,937 for 205.25 hours.
  • Theresa Sanchez would receive about $1,861 for 52.75 hours.
  • Golie Stennis would receive about $724 for 22.5 hours.
  • Faith Terrieri would receive about $1,164 for 26.75 hours.

If passed, the ordinance would update the Master Salary Ordinance to make the position eligible for overtime. 

Surplus property

City Council will also vote on allowing the city to negotiate terms and enter into a lease/purchase agreement with Kempthorn Collision Center to lease 2933 Salt Springs Road

The center would initially pay $25,000 for the building with plans to lease it for three years for $99,000 while the building is renovated. Kempthorn would pay $550,000 to purchase the building from the city once the building is renovated and possibly before the end of the three-year lease.

Ellen Wagner

About the Author: Ellen Wagner

Ellen Wagner reports on municipal services and budget cuts in Youngstown. She is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.
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