Posted: Sep 1, 2010 10:12 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
Updated: Sep 1, 2010 10:30 PM
Equipment meant to keep you safe is at the center of a dispute between the mayor and Metro Council in Baton Rouge.
Police want another half million dollars to maintain the system, so the council wanted contracts, costs and capability of the cameras in two years of use. What a committee of the council got was an invitation to see those things in private.
"You have a lot of documents there, but if you have something in particular you want to see, I'd be more than happy to make arrangements," said Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden.
Council member Chandler Loupe requested, in particular, the maintenance contract and cost for the crime surveillance and gunshot detector system. He also wanted to know how effective its been. Holden presented a seven-page report about how successful the program is in other cities, which didn't sit well with some on the council.
"We have to rely on them to work as a partnership between the administration and the council so we can do our due diligence," said councilman Joel Boe'. "What they've given us, we can't perform that duty."
"If the surveillance cameras aren't working, we need to know," said councilwoman Alison Cascio. "If they are working, that's great. We just kind of need to get to the bottom of this and see if it is worth our money."
With money a concern throughout the city-parish, some council members will keep the questions over crime cameras coming.
The mayor did not want to comment any further than what was said to council and in the report provided. However, he told the committee the administration will start providing quarterly reports of the system's maintenance costs to council.