The Gray County Commissioners approved the purchase of Gray County Sheriff’s Office equipment, including spike strips and entry tools, through the use of American Rescue Plan Act funds on Friday morning.
The Commissioners also discussed the purchase of security equipment, but ultimately decided to table that part of the purchase to gather more information.
Chief Deputy J.C. Skinner said the equipment would move security and body-cam footage to a server, which could be either cloud-based or physical.
“Right now they are all stored on external hard drives we buy at Walmart,” Skinner said. “What he (Lt. Colby Brown) is worried about is the hard drives or all of that video.”
Commissioner Jeff Haley asked how long the footage will be retained, to which Skinner said the GCSO can set a retention schedule for those items that are required by law to be retained. At the moment, they don’t have that ability.
The Commissioners were posed with two options, the on-site server or cloud-based server.
“There is a $25,000 start-up cost (for on-site) which will cover your first year,” Skinner said. “Then there is a $9,000 recurring yearly fee. If we were to do this, I would suggest we didn’t implement the program until October when we can budget the yearly fee for the 2024 budget.”
The start-up cost for the cloud-based server is $34,000 with a $19,000 yearly fee.
The on-site server would be housed somewhere at GCSO and be downloaded when staff returns to the building. On the cloud-based, recordings are uploaded to the cloud while a deputy is in the field, with a slight delay.
“It’s equipment installed into the vehicles and automatically downloads,” Skinner said.
The Commissioners and Skinner discussed the logistics with their server providers and how the new server would work logistically with the court system. They eventually tabled the item to gather more information.
The Commissioners did approve the purchase of equipment, including entry tools and spike strips.
The entry tool equipment is $8,047 for 14 kits. Skinner also requested five shields for $2,749.95. Finally, the spike strips are $6,950 for 14 sets.
“A vehicle is only going to go over one part of it and at that point you can replace it,” Skinner said. “But once you use them, that vehicle is stopped. There’s been a lot of pursuits over the last two years.”
The Stop Sticks branded strips are what Texas DPS uses in their vehicles.
The Commissioners also approved the following items:
• Pay Bills as Approved by the County Auditor
• Line-Item Transfers
• Budget Amendments
• County Treasurer’s Monthly Report
• Treasurer’s Quarterly Report
• County Clerk’s Monthly Report
• Minutes of the Previous Meeting
• Increasing Election Judges Pay from $ 10 per hour to $ 12 per hour as per State Guidelines. This has already been budgeted for.
• Approval of Appointment of Election Judges for Each County Precinct.
• Replace an Employee in the Tax Assessor/Collector’s Office.