City + Citizen News

City Council to hear updates on improved downtown parking signage, police body cameras

Monday, September 22

New signage to improve visibility for Downtown Spartanburg's 3,000+ parking spaces


At their meeting on Monday, City Council will hear an update on a plan to improve signage for public parking in Downtown Spartanburg. In a memo to Council, City Communications Manager Will Rothschild said that while the City has invested more than $25 million in parking infrastructure for downtown over the past 15 years—bringing the total number of available spaces to over 3,000—a misperception among some potential visitors and investors exists about both the availability and convenience of downtown parking.


According to Rothschild, City Staff is addressing the misperception on several fronts, with the new signage meant to both direct drivers to parking facilities downtown and more prominently brand City garages and lots as public facilities. Council will be updated on costs for the new signage at Monday's meeting.


Also at the meeting, Council will hear from Police Maj. Steve Lamb about body camera systems recently purchased for 20 of the department's officers. The body-worn camera systems record audio and video of a police incidents from the officer's field-of-view, and once recorded, the video is securely stored as potential evidence. All 20 cameras have already been deployed, and assigned to specific officers.


During the pilot program, camera systems have been assigned to the traffic team, downtown bicycle officers, K-9 team, and several narcotic officers. Total cost for the body camera system is $65,916, with $21,061 coming from the general fund, $27,407 coming from a federal JAG grant, and $17,448 coming from forfeited drug funds.


In other business, Council will learn about a $300,000 federal grant the Police Department received from the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women. The grant was awarded through a partnership with Safe Homes Rape Crisis Coalition and the Seventh Circuit Solicitor's Office and will be used to fund: 20 percent of the salary and benefits for time the Law Enforcement Victim Specialist spends on sexual assault, training for solicitors who prosecute sexual assault cases, a consultant to provide sexual assault training for community partners, and funding of Safe Homes Staff working with sexual assaults.


For more on Monday's City Council meeting download the full agenda here


Tagged: Downtown Spartanburg parking, Spartanburg Police Department