Members of the Little Rock Board of Directors at a meeting Tuesday approved the purchase of 75 cameras meant to support the work of the Police Department's real-time crime center at a cost of nearly $215,800.
The resolution was approved along with other items in a voice vote as part of the city board's consent agenda.
Funding will be drawn from Little Rock's allocation of direct aid from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, according to city board documents.
The resolution approved Tuesday gives the city manager authorization to enter into a contract with a vendor to acquire 75 Falcon cameras, a product of the company Flock Safety.
According to Maj. Ty Tyrrell, the commander of the Police Department's headquarters division, the department has participated in a no-cost study with Flock Safety using 25 Falcon cameras.
In an email Tuesday, Tyrrell said officials were "very pleased" with the cameras' performance and called them "an integral part of our Real Time Crime Center."
"These cameras can capture license plate information but also capture images of vehicles without license plates," Tyrrell added.
The 25 cameras used during the study will ultimately be removed, he said, meaning that once the purchase and installation process is complete, the department will have a total of 75 Falcon cameras going forward.
Seventy will be "fixed cameras" and the remaining five will be "tactical deployment cameras" to be deployed rapidly during emerging incidents or special events, the resolution says.
Police Chief Heath Helton, who was named the permanent replacement for former chief Keith Humphrey late last year, has made building out the real-time crime center within the department's new headquarters a priority.
Helton told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette recently that the real-time crime center has access to 150-160 surveillance cameras around the city. Most of those cameras are city-owned, he said.
The department was preparing to unveil a camera initiative dubbed ConnectLR in which police hope to partner with businesses and encourage residents to register their private cameras with the city, Helton said at the time.
By having doorbell cameras and others registered through the program, detectives will be able to contact people with cameras after a nearby crime and potentially obtain clips that show suspicious activity without giving police unrestricted access to the feed, Helton said.