ATLANTA - The Atlanta police chief says funding allocated for security cameras is insufficient.
Rodney Bryant, responding to a question during a City Hall budget briefing, reported the budget to maintain the cameras shrank by nearly one-half.
This coming at a time when Councilman Howard Shook noted one in ten cameras was dark and required repairs.
The police department's reliance on the technology cannot be overstated.
One notable case took place just before last Christmas. A young girl, Kennedy Maxie, was in a car with family headed for a holiday shopping trip. Gunshots -- not aimed at that family -- rang out in Buckhead. That girl was shot and died.
A street camera by Phipps Plaza was operating properly, captured a vital image, and was the first step in identifying and capturing a man charged in Kennedy's homicide.
The police chief reported that for 2020, he had $1.4 million in his budget to take care of camera maintenance. City Hall budget writers currently have just $800.000 set aside this year to keep all the cameras up and running.
"How much do you need?" That is what Shook asked clearly frustrated.
"I need a full million," Bryant responded.
The councilman told his colleagues they cannot expect the chief to be able to do the job if the city does not fund critical tools needed to find and lock up criminals.
"I smell a budget amendment coming," Shook replied.
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