Jonesboro Police Department gets new phone and camera system

JONESBORO — The city’s police department is getting a new phone system.

During a special called meeting Wednesday, the Jonesboro City Council voted to grant the police department’s request.

“The original phone system is outdated,” said police Chief Franklin Allen. “I don’t even have voice mail. It’s old and in bad shape.”

The unanimous approval came after discussion about whether the new phone system can grow with the department and if it can be moved if needed.

“We can add more lines if needed and if we moved to a new building we can take it with us,” Allen said.

The cost for new 16 lines is $6,200 which includes installation.

The department also received approval to purchase a camera system for a newly created interrogation room.

Officers are relying on digital audio recorders and are often required to transcribe interviews, Allen said.

“Everything is so technologically dependent on video now,” he said. “It presents hard, factual evidence for a jury.”

Allen said it’s a very simple monitoring system that provides audio as well.

“We’re covered as a city,” said Councilwoman Pat Sebo. “I’m a proponent to give you the tools to do your job.”

Cost for the new camera system is $1,325, including installation. The system will have a camera, boom mic and DVR.

A security camera system for the police department was also brought up, but was tabled until the council’s next meeting.

During Monday’s regular City Council meeting, council approved the purchase of 19 new computers for the police department as well.

Additionally, council voted to approve the purchase of a new server for City Hall not to exceed $5,000.

“It’s what we need,” said Mayor Joy Day. “I think $5,000 will be more than enough even with installation.”