The township received a grant from Target to be used for police equipment—but the council is unsure exactly how it should be used.
The council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday to accept $2,000 into the township budget so long as the money is not yet used.
Township administrator James Naples said the grant is supposed to be used to purchase two pieces of equipment, namely a piece for license plate surveillance and another computer for copying surveillance videos.
As for the latter piece of equipment, Naples said, it allows police to copy surveillance videos and share them with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
The former piece of equipment is a permanently mounted camera for license plate reading surveillance, Naples said. He said this is different than the that are used in police cars to read license plates to check for outstanding warrants.
“It’s not a mobile unit on the police cars, it’s a mounted piece,” he said.
But councilman Matthew Moench said he didn’t quite understand the purpose of this piece of equipment.
“If a car has already driven by and someone is not reviewing the tape at the exact time,” he said, “I don’t understand the use of this.”
Naples said he doesn’t know exactly how the equipment works, but said he would ask the police chief to provide more information.
If the township moves forward with these purchases, Naples said, there would be no ongoing maintenance, and the entire purchase would be covered by the $2,000 grant.
Still, the council agreed to put the money into the budget, with the stipulation that no purchases would be made until they had gotten more information about the purposes of the equipment from the Bridgewater Township Police Chief.