Sheriff looks to expand radio coverage
Wed, 03/08/2023 - 2:47pm admin
Marcie Klomp ~ News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
HOWARD COUNTY - Howard County Sheriff Tim Beckman and Emergency Management Coordinator Darrell Knecht are working together to get some updates to the county’s security system.
At this time, there are three areas where cameras are filming traffic — at the main five-way intersection in Lime Springs, just south of the bridge at Chester and at Davis Corners.
The sheriff’s office has been able to solve some cases by downloading the contents of the cameras manually. Sheriff Beckman is looking for a better and faster way to get the videos.
When the cameras at Lime Springs and Chester were installed, officers could view the footage in real time at the Law Enforcement Center. Now they have to be manually downloaded, taken back to the LEC and reviewed, which is a loss of time, which could be rectified with an update of the bandwidth.
“Now they are completely off-line,” explained Beckman. “We don’t even know if they are working or if something needs to be replaced. That’s what happened with the bank robbery in Lime Springs. We looked at the video and saw one camera wasn’t working. We fixed it in the morning, and that day, the robbery took place.
Having fiberoptics or a microwave link would be beneficial to law enforcement, fire and EMS. Just two weeks ago, EMS was on a call in Riceville and could not reach the dispatch center.
As of September 2022, the cost of installing a microwave link was $257,000. Beckman and Knecht brought the request to the Board of Supervisors, with the desire to see if part of the nearly $1.8 million American Rescue Plan funds received by the county could be used. The board is looking over all options on how to use the ARP funds.
The link would carry no monthly fee, which would happen with the fiberoptics.
If it is installed, it will allow other towns in the county the opportunity to get cameras to help protect their citizens as well.