Cobb Commission approves trio of public safety measures

Cobb County approves funding for policy study, body cameras and vehicles

Cobb Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved three policing issues aimed at building trust in the community and making officers safer.

Commissioners approved an $8.8 million funding agreement for the purchase of about 190 new police vehicles; the purchase of 100 body cameras; and a Request For Proposal for an outside agency to review the department’s policies and procedures.

Cobb Public Safety Director Sam Heaton said it will likely be the end of the year before he brings to commissioners the recommended changes from the external police review. The review will include a look at the department’s training procedures and policies for issues such as unbiased policing.

“We’re at the point where we need to be an open book,” Heaton said. “We don’t want to get to the point with the Department of Justice comes in and does this.”

Heaton called for the review in January, after a pair of high-profile incidents involving a patrol officer who has since resigned from the force. The review will cost about $95,000.

Purchasing the vehicles will start in about three weeks, but will take several months to complete. The additional vehicles will allow the county to continue implementing its take-home vehicle program, which is considered a perk for officers that makes the community safer by having more police vehicles on the street.

Heaton also told commissioners that buying the new body cameras will bring other funding requirements next year — for additional technological support and server storage.

Go to myAJC later today for updates.