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The public attends the Athens City Council meeting in Athens City Hall on Monday, February 3, 2020.

City Council met to discuss police-related appropriations, mutual aid

Athens City Council met in committees Monday night and discussed possible mutual aid to the sheriff’s office and appropriations. 

The Planning and Development Committee discussed the possible mutual aid to the sheriff’s office in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Councilman Micah McCarey, D-At Large, said the mutual aid would be used for a special response and tactics unit (SRT) consisting of Athens police officers and the sheriff’s office. 

Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle said the MOU would raise the staffing for the unit from five staff members to seven staff members. 

The MOU would also provide the city with overwatch on big events, such as Halloween, for free instead of the city having to pay for the services of the SRT. 

Pyle said the police department would prioritize policing the streets, and though the SRT would have seven members, only up to five would participate in calls at a time. 

The Finance and Personnel Committee discussed possible appropriations for the police department and parking enforcement. 

Councilman Sam Crowl, D-3rd Ward, said there would be a $16,000 appropriation to the police department to utilize a Conex storage container for evidence that needs to be kept insulated as well as a $12,000 appropriation for three new body camera kits. 

Crowl also said there would be a $55,000 appropriation to parking enforcement because there has been an influx of parking tickets given out. 

There is an increase of $110,000 in parking tickets, and there is a fee to pay on the system each time there is a new ticket. Crowl said the city will have to pay $55,000 to cover the costs of the additional citations and tickets. 

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