Seligman looks to provide officers with new equipment

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Department requests Panasonic police body cameras, BAC machine

The Seligman Police Department is looking into purchasing new body cameras to replace old ones, as well as purchasing a blood alcohol content (BAC) machine and obtaining certification.

Brian Nichols, Seligman city clerk, said they are looking into replacing the old body cameras with Panasonic police body cameras.

“That is the same camera system that the Missouri Highway Patrol uses,” he said. “They are pretty well-tested across the state. I know they don’t get rid of them until they start to have problems with them.

“That says a lot, because they move them from vehicle to vehicle so they are good quality, and they hold up to the use that they get.”

Nichols said that is a huge selling point, because that keeps the city from having to replace them so frequently.

“The cameras that we are currently using have been troublesome for awhile between warranty work, having to wait for parts and different camera issues,” he said. “We were able to show the city council photos from the current body cameras, and the video quality is just horrible.”

Nichols said there is no warranty with them, so the city spends $300 on a camera head, and the minute it starts acting up, they have to spend another $300 on a new camera head.

“The main reason to upgrade to the Panasonic police body cameras is they will hold up longer and we won’t have to be replaced as frequently,” he said. “They are more expensive than the current body camera systems we are using, but it saves money with the cost of replacement over time and we get a better warranty.”

Nichols said for the Seligman Police Department to purchase a BAC machine, it would cost $14,090.

“The certification training would be free,” he said. “We have the potential to get it done there in Cassville, where we wouldn’t have any drive time or hotel costs.”

Nichols said this would allow the Seligman officers to do the BAC testing on site, instead of having to go to Cassville to find a certified officer or wait for someone from Highway Patrol.

“This would eliminate the need to get other departments involved or having to wait,” he said. “There is potential for a long wait, which ties officers up, and we have the option of getting the BAC machine through a grant. If all goes well, there is no cost but there is a huge benefit to the city of Seligman.”

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