Georgetown discussing body cameras for all officers
GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WKYT) - The City of Georgetown is working to enhance safety and transparency in its police department.
Tuesday night, the Georgetown City Council discussed equipping all officers with body cameras. They also addressed the department’s officer shortage.
It’s one of the fastest-growing cities in central Kentucky. Now the Georgetown Police Department is trying to keep up and expand to match that growth. Something city council members and Georgetown residents say is very much needed.
“I’ve been here since I was a young kid, on and off,” said Georgetown resident Paul McIntosh. “I’ve seen it before Toyota came.”
McIntosh has been in Georgetown ever since. He says he understands why the police department may need to make some changes.
“I don’t want this town to be the closed-minded town with no diversity. No funding,” said McIntosh. “I mean what do you have then? Just a town with nothing. No growth, no funding.”
So at Monday night’s city council meeting, Councilmember Willow Hambrick proposed equipping every officer with a body camera, which would mean setting aside $145,000 a year for the next five years in the upcoming budget.
“As we have seen, if there’s a camera, you have protection for the police officers and you also have protection for the citizens,” said Councilmember Hambrick. “But we also have a lot of fiscal strain right now.”
Police Chief Darrin Allgood says they also need to recruit more officers. And right now, according to their calculations, officers’ salaries are falling around $10,000 to $13,000 short of what surrounding departments are offering.
“We honestly believe when it gets closer to discuss salaries, we will hopefully be able to draw officers from other agencies that are already sworn. Because that would really help us get officers out on the street a lot quicker,” said Chief Allgood.
Chief Allgood says they are also actively trying to recruit more women and people of color. Currently, they have two women, three African Americans and two Spanish-speaking officers on the force.
“Going to go and really try to help with minority recruiting like going to ‘K State’] and some of these other universities to take a more active role also to really help with that,” said Mayor Burney Jenkins.
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