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Natchez moving forward with installing crime cameras and new public lighting
from Staff Reports - NEWS
September 26, 2018 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – The Board of Aldermen is backing Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong’s plans to place crime cameras throughout the city as another tool to catch and prosecute crooks.

Armstrong presented his plans Tuesday for purchasing at least 32 cameras to post in areas prone to criminal activities. The cameras will enable the Natchez Police Department to monitor and have recorded video of crimes and their perpetrators.

The city board in recent months has been discussing purchasing the crime cameras as fears have escalated in Natchez about recent shootings, robberies and other crimes.

It’ll cost about $4,800 to purchase 32 cameras and $7,600 a year to store the video records, Armstrong said.

While the NPD will know what high-crime areas to install the surveillance cameras, Armstrong said businesses and homeowners can collaborate and help pay for the WiFi connections required for the monitoring system. It can be used to assist police respond to crime in real time or for follow-up investigations.

The crime-surveillance system is similar to what’s used in New Orleans, where the cameras have proven effective in reducing crime and solving cases, Armstrong said.



The Natchez Board of Aldermen approved a contract Tuesday to replace more than 3,800 lights in city-owned facilities and streets to save an estimated $78,000 or more a year.

Schneider Electric has been hired to implement the energy-efficiency program. Mayor Darryl Grennell said the installment of LED lighting and other efficiencies will “create major, major savings” for the city estimated at $2.4 million in a 20-year period.

It’s uncertain how much the city will be paying to implement this with the European-based Schneider overseeing the project. It depends on how the project is financed, said Schneider representative Allie Harris. The board initiated financing Tuesday that entails borrowing money through a bond issue. Harris did say the city can be eligible for $100,000 in power-saving rebates from Entergy, the city’s electricity supplier. This money can be used to pay Schneider its first annual payment next year.
The project envisions cost reductions from replacing all interior and exterior lights in buildings, streets, parks and other facilities owned and operated by the city. This includes the Natchez Convention Center and City Auditorium.

The project is to also bring a new air-conditioning system and roof for the City Council Chambers building where the Board of Aldermen and mayor meet.

The new lights will make streets brighter and curtail energy consumption in buildings, according to a report presented to the board.

LED (light-emitting diode) is considered one of the most energy-efficient and rapidly developing lighting technologies. Quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
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