By Brett Milam
The Miami Township Board of Trustees held its business meeting on March 20, where a 9-year veteran with the fire department received a promotion, and where the police chief discussed body worn cameras.
“As usual, it’s an exciting time in the fire and EMS department, as we continue to grow and people achieve new positions, people ultimately are winding up retiring and enjoying retirement, but it’s an exciting time, as we get to grow and expand in our ranks,” Chief Steve Kelly said.
Kelly talked about the promotion of Jeff Moore to station lieutenant, a sort of jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the Miami Township Fire Department, as a firefighter, highly-trained rabid sequence induction (RSI) paramedic, fire inspector, peer fitness trainer and a mentor to the new employees.
Moore was hired part-time in January of 2009 before moving to full-time in February 2013. Moore was at the meeting with his wife, two daughters, parents and in-laws.
“Jeff’s one of those members in our departments whose kind of what we like to call an informal leader and today, he takes that step into formal leadership,” Kelly said. “Jeff’s one of those guys, and you can ask any of the people standing in the audience tonight, he’s the guy to go to on the bay floor when you got a question about something and he’ll dig in and do the research.”
Kelly continued, “We’d like to thank Jeff for all the involvement he has in our department in helping us move forward.”
Moore was then sworn in and pinned with his new lieutenant badge before an honor guard.
Brian Elliff, planning and zoning administrator, mentioned working with the Home Depot at 1094 State route 28 in Milford on a “magna latch,” which is a magnetic latch that secures gates near swimming pools.
“We had a really good experience with our own Home Depot just around the corner here, which is, I’ve talked to the board a couple times about swimming pool safety…and we’ve really been paying attention to this and one of the things we’ve noted is some of these specialty safety latches,” Elliff said.
The latches are particularly effective, Elliff added, because the latches are high up, making it harder for small children to reach the latch.
“We were really pleased that Home Depot would partner with us on that,” Elliff said.
Police Chief Sue Madsen said the department has been continually informing township residents that the department will be transitioning to the body worn camera for its officers.
At every call for service that an officer goes to, Madsen said they will turn that camera on and bring it back to the department at the end of their shift. Once back at the department, the recorded video is downloaded to the cloud and recharged for future use.
“So we are at that next step and I want to continue to inform the public and let everyone know what we’re doing and if there’s any questions, please give us a call before we implement,” Madsen said.
In November, a pilot program was launched by the department with eight officers to try out the cameras.
According to a body worn camera FAQ prepared by the department, the goal of the cameras is to:
– Enhance public trust, transparency and accountability
– Reduce citizen complaints
– Decrease use of force
– Supplement supervisory oversight
– Improve the quality of evidence gathered
– Add a layer of safety for the officer
Under the written policy for the use of the cameras, there may be “extenuating circumstances” when the cameras will not be turned on, i.e., “ambush, assault on a police officer, compromising the tactical advantage of police.”
That is, “officer safety and public safety” take precedence over recording of events, the policy states.
All officers and personnel who wear a body camera will go through a training program in how to properly use and operate them.
Additionally, according to the FAQ, all videos are retained for a minimum of 90 days.
The police requested 36 cameras or one for each officer in the department. The cost per camera is $400. The department went with Axon for its camera needs.
Police officers began wearing them on April 9, the department said.
To review the policy in full, please go to: http://www.miamitwp.org/PDF/Police/BWC-Policy.pdf.
In other matters, John Musselman, service director, said they are prepping for installation of turf at Riverview Park at 587 Branch Hill Loveland Road in Loveland.
The sand that was previously there was attracting bees and creating hardship for the children there, Musselman said.