Committee forwards budget to city council

Ordinance walked on to agenda to buy SkyCop cameras

Committee forwards budget to city council
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Finance and Administration Committee agreed to move the 2020 budget for the City of Jonesboro to the city council for consideration during their meeting Tuesday.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin said this budget will prioritize a commitment to public safety, fire protection, and other essential services.

That means there is a proposed 7.3% increase in funding for the Jonesboro Police Department, along with money for one new fire engine and three new firemen.

The budget allows for 165 full-time employees with the department, including 114 offices, which is down one from last year, and 2 more sergeants bringing their numbers to 24.

There was a list of concerns presented during the meeting, including how the population of Jonesboro is outgrowing the revenue being collected.

“In the last four years, we actually are down 5.8% revenues on a per capita basis,” Chief of Staff Mike Downing said.

The budget also for $615,150 dollars to be spent on things for the police department like nine white SUV’s, 40 toughbooks, 24 police radios, and five body armors.

The committee voted to forward the budget to the full city council. It will be discussed for the first time by the council on December 3.

An ordinance was also walked on to the finance committee’s agenda that would allow the police department to buy 10 new SkyCop Cameras.

The $165,119 for the cameras, related technology support, and annual support for the cameras will be added to the police department 2019 budget and the money would come from the unappropriated funds in the general funds if approved.

Police Chief Rick Elliott told the committee that the new camera would come with license plate readers.

Elliott also said that the money for new technology would also allow the department to buy technology that would allow cameras at certain intersections in town to be recorded.

Elliott said that video, along with the SkyCop video would only be stored for 30 days.

The committee also forwarded that ordinance to the full city council as well.

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