It has been just over one year since the Brinks Corporation donated an armored truck to the St. Petersburg Police Department to be converted into a mobile video surveillance vehicle.
That's right ONE YEAR.
City Council approved the funding months ago and Police Chief Chuck Harmon promised City Council they would "see it" in July.
So where is it?
PD management has stalled, delayed and put off deploying this crime prevention tool. Why?
No one seems to know. Council member Nurse has asked repeated questions but gets the typical Chief Harmon generalities and lame excuses.
I built the first prototype in about six weeks so why is this one taking so long?
The simple answer is the Police Chief and his three assistant chiefs just don't want the thing on the street. They are not technology savvy enough to figure out how to use it, and scared to see what it might actually find.
Their approach follows the Chuck Harmon model "if I don't see it, I don't have to act". Or more appropriately, I can't hold the truck accountable for what it might see, so I would actually have to do something.
Mayor Foster promised the expanded use of technology in his campaign, but interestingly not one new piece of significant law enforcement technology has been deployed since his election.
Only two things motivate Chuck Harmon, fear of personal responsibility and boot you know where. That's all you've got work with Mr. Mayor, otherwise it will be at the PD as it has been since you took office - status quo, delay, delay, excuse and delay.
Where is the Brinks Truck?
Last sighting it had a nice new white paint job, no Police markings and was sitting peacefully in a bay at the fleet maintenance lot with no one working on it.
Mr. Mayor, it is time to stop grinning widely and start talking to your Police Chief firmly otherwise all of those Public safety campaign promises are just so much smoke.
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