POMEROY — Pomeroy Village County discussed time clock upgrades as well as technology for police cruisers during Monday’s regular meeting.
Council discussed a variety of options for replacing the village’s employee time clock, ultimately approving $578 for a biometric system that uses fingerprints and a PIN to clock in or out.
Fiscal Officer Sue Baker assembled options in a range of costs, but advised against the highest end because the village’s payroll system already handled most of the premium features offered by the more expensive services. A low tech solution was discarded after council reasoned simple punch cards were very open to abuse.
Mayor Bryan Shank presented a Verizon service that would provide telemetry on police cruisers, tracking such data as GPS location, speed, and notifying dispatch whenever emergency lights are activated.
Police Chief Mark Proffitt said the monthly cost would be $23 per vehicle (for four cars), with a $155 per vehicle installation fee waiver available in March only.
The council debated the extreme invasiveness of the technology versus the public good, ultimately voting 3-2 to approve the purchase and installation.
It was not specified to whom, and under what circumstances, the data would be available. Passing discussion indicated the records would probably fall under a lawyer’s discovery requests
An audience member said “why would we need to monitor our police officers?”
Mayor Shank replied, “In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to do this.”
The council then adjourned to a lengthy executive session for the stated purpose of employee discipline.
Bills were paid in the amount of $32,457.97.
Council member Ruth Spaun sought clarification of a few line items, including payments to telecommunications companies AT&T and Verizon. Administrator Woodall confirmed a set of new phones was purchased for the Public Works Department, to remedy “some (employees) did not have phones, some of the phones were not working,” and that the new equipment were highly durable models. Council also discussed the possibility of saving money by consolidating providers.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Pomeroy Village Council is March 20, 7 p.m. in the Pomeroy Village Hall.
Michael Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.