New parking signage to improve visibility and wayfinding for Downtown Spartanburg's 3,000+ spaces
City Council hears updates on improved downtown parking signage, police body cameras
At their meeting on Monday, Spartanburg City Council heard from City Communications Manager Will Rothschild about a plan to improve signage for public parking in Downtown Spartanburg. 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.
A variety of signs and locations are planned including 10 larger directional sidewalk signs, a new traffic light sign on Church Street, and new at garage entrances. Total cost for the signs is expected to be around $1,800.
Also at Monday's meeting, Council heard 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 automatically uploaded to an offsite server where it is securely stored as potential evidence. All 20 cameras have already been deployed, and 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 got an update on a $300,000 federal grant the Police Department received from the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women. The three-year 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, see the full video and a roundup of our live tweets below.