Rainsville continues more safety measures

The Rainsville City Council approved to incorporate Frontline Public Safety Software, per request of the police department, on Monday.

Police Chief Kevin Smith and Councilman Derek Rosson proposed the new program that will allow Rainsville residents and business key holders to request a “vacation watch” of their home. After submitting their information, the department will attempt to check the home “as often as their call volume and other enforcement activities will allow” and verify with the residents the status of their property.

The program, that will cost the department $750 a year to renew, is being paid by the proceeds raised at the Policeman’s Ball on Oct. 27, Rosson said.

“We raised some money for it, and we want to try it out this year to see how accurate and how good it is,” he said. “I think that this would be a good tool for us to try out, and if it’s successful maybe we can add it into to our budgets for years to come.”

Councilman Marshall Stiefel voiced his concerns for the possibility of the city’s liability in situations that the program may cause.

“I understand that it’s voluntary, but that don’t mean they can’t turn around and voluntarily sue us,” Stiefel said.

City Attorney Nikki Scott and Smith said the website will have a liability disclaimer that participating residents have to agree to in order to sign up. The agreement states that the city, police and any other entity are not responsible for any crimes of damages that are caused while the homeowner is signed up for the program.

“We do this as a courtesy, first of all, we’re not required by law to do it,” Smith said. “We will put a disclaimer in there saying that the city of Rainsville cannot be held responsible. Everybody understands that we can’t sit there and check their home, but we will check it as many times during a shift as we can.”

Smith said the encryptions on the software keep the residents’ information safe, and all information given to the department is voluntary.

Smith said the software will keep records of trespassers that have been served a notice or warning, along with their photograph, to allow officers to more accurately identify unwanted intruders.

The program will also allow residents to create a profile for “at risk citizens” that may need assistance.

“If you have someone that is autistic, or has dementia or Alzheimer’s or anything of that nature, we’ll have all their information, including their doctors, medication, photographs of the person and it can be accessed in each patrol car,” Smith said. “We’ll know exactly where they need to be, and how to get in touch with their family or medical personnel.”

The council approved the software installation.

The city of Rainsville will be the first in the state of Alabama to implement this program, Smith said. This program, along with new patrol car laptops, vehicles, and communication systems, has all been installed in the department since this summer, as well as the city being named the 11th Safest City in Alabama by safewise.com in June.

The sign-up link can be found on the Rainsville Police Department’s Facebook page.

During the workshop:

• the chamber of commerce announced the Rainsville Holiday Open House days for Friday and Saturday.

• Rosson announced the Rainsville Veterans Day Memorial Service that is set for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the city park.

• Councilman Brandon Freeman said the city’s Trunk or Treat on Oct. 31 saw more than 800 children attend at the new location at the Farmers Market Pavilion in the Field of Dreams Sports Complex.

The council also:

• approved the hire of Hunter Wise part-time for the street and sanitation departments.

• reappointed Jonathan Phillips, Whitney Whiteside and Gelaine Nelson to the DeKalb Mental Services Board.

• reappointed Lisa Chandler, Brooke Debtor, Kelly Lawrence and Pat Flaherty to the Beautification Board.

• reappointed Bill Ayers and Teresa Hill to the Library Board.

• reappointed Cindy Black, Joe Flaherty, Kelly Frazier, and Whitney Whiteside to the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center Board.

• reappointed Darrell Samples, Joey Graham, Fred Bobo and Tim Barksdale to the Sewer Board.

• approved to renew the VHF frequency license for the police and fire departments. Both departments will pay $1,500 to cover the renewal.

• approved to replace the stop sign on Fortner Road and Old Highway 35 to a yield sign, due to construction on the Chavies bridge.

• approved the yearly, one-time pay raise for all full-time city employees.

• approved to purchase a small logging recorder for all calls dispatch and all emergency radio traffic, incoming and outgoing, to be recorded for $5,384.62.

• approved to pay the monthly bills.

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