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Youngstown City Council takes next step to get body cameras for YPD

City Council also approved $24,300 in overtime for employees in the Youngstown City Health District for work performed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Youngstown City Council 07282021
Youngstown City Council on Wednesday had its first in-person meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. From left are Law Director Jeff Limbian, City Council President DeMaine Kitchen and Finance Director Kyle Miasek. (Ellen Wagner | Mahoning Matters)

YOUNGSTOWN — At its first in-person meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, City Council on Wednesday gave approval for the Youngstown Police Department to move forward with plans for officers to have body cameras.

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

The department expects to get body camera proposals from Axon, G-Tech Solutions, BodyWorn, Motorola and other companies. 

YPD currently has 16 officers in a trial period with Axon Body 3 cameras.

YPD will get a price estimate, how cameras work and what is required for data storage for 150 body cameras from each company. 

YPD Chief Carl Davis said during Monday’s finance committee meeting that 150 cameras are not the number the department would lock in at. The total number of officers and detectives who would receive the cameras has yet to be determined.

Davis said the timeline to get the body cameras depends on City Council. The department is looking at both cost and quality for cameras. 

“As soon as we get some of those logistics worked out, we'll proceed from there,” Davis said.

Councilwoman Anita Davis, 6th Ward, said she is concerned about the cost for the cameras and how many cameras are being purchased. 

She said she would like all patrol officers to have body cameras since they interact with the public the most.

“I do want to see them, absolutely,” Councilwoman Davis said. 

Councilwoman Davis said detectives and sergeants do not need body cameras since most interviews take place in interrogation rooms at YPD. Other times, detectives and sergeants are talking to victims and witnesses in their homes and do not need to have them on camera. 

Some equipment, like bulletproof vests, are always worn by officers and rarely by detectives. She said it should be the same for body cameras, with extras that can be checked out if needed.

Wastewater treatment plant

City Council also approved entering into a professional service contract with a 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 an update of the preliminary design modeling for the high rate treatment facility at the wastewater treatment plant.

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. 

Phase two to complete the model is expected to be done by 2023. 

Phase one involved 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 also approved $24,300 in overtime for 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 will receive about $9,915 for 179 hours.
  • Lillian Cunningham will receive about $1,113 for 38.5 hours.
  • Rick Dezsi will receive about $580 for 16.5 hours.
  • Anthea Mickens will receive about $8,937 for 205.25 hours.
  • Theresa Sanchez will receive about $1,861 for 52.75 hours.
  • Golie Stennis will receive about $724 for 22.5 hours.
  • Faith Terrieri will receive about $1,164 for 26.75 hours.

The ordinance will update the Master Salary Ordinance to make the positions eligible for overtime. 

Other ordinances

City Council also passed these ordinances Wednesday:

  • The city will negotiate terms and enter into a lease/purchase agreement with Kempthorn Collision Center to lease 2933 Salt Springs Road. 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.
  • The city will enter into an agreement with a consultant for professional services for the right-of-way acquisition for the Youngstown Signal Upgrade Project. Traffic signals will be replaced from Mahoning Avenue to Meridian Road all the way to Oak Hill Avenue. The cost of the project will not exceed $85,000.
  • The city will enter into an agreement with a consultant for roadway design services for the Mahoning Avenue Rehabilitation Project. The cost will not exceed $370,000.
  • Two ordinances were passed to accept and administer a $60,000 COVID-19 grant awarded to the Youngstown City Health District by the Community Foundation. The grant will help with COVID-19 response within the Black and Hispanic/Latino communities through the Minority Vaccination Community Action Group.

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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