HARKER HEIGHTS — The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the signing of a bank lease to add 23 new video recording systems to mobile units in the Harker Heights Police Department.
Chase Bank will pay $270,422 up front for COBAN equipment and installation in 19 patrol cars, three motorcycles and one mobile command system, official documents stated. The city will pay a 1.89 percent interest rate on the principal, $279,474.13, in full. The last lease payment is scheduled for Feb. 16, 2016.
The city will own the equipment after paying off the lease, said Alberta S. Barrett, Heights finance director.
Police Chief Mike Gentry said the city needs the technology, which has helped detect crime. “It has become a linchpin in our operations,” Gentry said.
All of HHPD’s equipment has a five-year warranty, said Gary Bates, Heights information technology director.
Gentry said the equipment records as long as officers are in their cars, and transmits information to servers. “These videos don’t just run for traffic stops,” Gentry said.
Due in February, the first yearly rent payment of $89,023.61 will top the original fiscal year 2013-14 budget by more than $29,000, but drawn out over five years, the city will pay $20,525.87 less than the budgeted amount.
In other business, the council and outgoing Place 1 Councilman John Reider exchanged goodbyes in a premeeting reception, before new Place 1 Councilman Hal Schiffman and fourth-term Place 3 Councilman Pat Christ were sworn in.
Reider said he wasn’t planning on running for the council again. “This is it for me,” Reider said. “I’ve enjoyed it. ... Doing a good job at the city council is very easy with your help.”
The first action during the council meeting was swearing in Schiffman and Christ. City Manager Steve Carpenter said Schiffman’s business experience, which includes managing Killeen Mall for 15 years, should help the council as it addresses future development. “I expect him to be a huge benefit to us,” Carpenter said.