Police department applies for grant to buy body cameras

by Kathleen Steele Gaivin
Sept. 6 city council meeting

With approval from city council, the Brecksville Police Department is applying for a $115,200 grant through the Ohio Criminal Justice Services that will pay for 31 body-worn cameras and ancillary equipment and fees.

“We believe that body-worn cameras are going to help us collect video evidence in criminal cases,” said Police Chief Stan Korinek. “We also believe that it’s going to protect our officers if any complaints are brought against them. And we also believe that it’s going to bring transparency to their actions with the public.”

Director of Planning and Community Development Monica Bartkiewicz said that Ohio Criminal Justice Services grants have typically been around $43,000.

“So, I’m going to keep realistic expectations and scale back the project if needed,” she said.

“If we don’t get full funding, we can scale it back and still get every officer to have a camera,” said Korinek. However, cameras would be rotated by shift rather than individually assigned.

The city will provide an annual grant to the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Community Awareness and Prevention Association for prevention and intervention services. Mayor Jerry Hruby said the city’s finance director had reviewed the association’s finances and found everything to be in order.

“It’s a great program and we certainly should continue to help fund it,” Hruby said.

The city issued a commendation to part-time firefighter/medic Mark Coyner, who retired from the Brecksville Fire Department after 27 years. He also recently retired from his full-time position with the Independence Fire Department.

City council authorized the mayor to apply for a 2022 urban canopy restoration grant coordinated by the USDA Forest Service and Community Forestry Program to supply funding to purchase, maintain and protect trees within the city.

The tennis courts will be getting lighting, perhaps as soon as October, according to Purchasing Director Rebecca Riser. The city received the formal agreement from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for the “Capital Improvement Community Park, Recreation/Conservation Project Pass-Through” grant that will pay for the lighting. Riser said the materials are expected to arrive by the end of September.

Representatives from NOPEC presented preliminary information on the energy supplier’s Property Assessed Clean Energy loan program. The idea is to help commercial real estate property owners finance energy-efficient upgrades at a low interest rate. Unlike other loans, such as mortgages, companies do not make monthly payments to the loan. Rather, they pay back the money through tax assessments.

If Brecksville chooses to allow small businesses to participate in PACE, the city would pay a fee to join an energy special improvement district. ∞