Hoover City Council discusses bids for police body cameras

The Hoover City Council discussed a continuing effort to purchase body cameras for the Hoover Police Department during a April 2 City Council work session. (File)

The Hoover City Council discussed a continuing effort to purchase body cameras for the Hoover Police Department during a April 2 City Council work session. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HOOVER—The Hoover City Council discussed a continuing effort to purchase 90 body cameras for the Hoover Police Department during a April 2 City Council work session. None of the bids returned met the city’s bid specifications and requirements for the body cameras.

Invitations to bid for the body cameras and accompanying evidence transfer modules and online storage were sent to 91 vendors and a notice was posted on the city’s website on Feb. 27. The bid closed on March 10.

Three vendors returned bids and self reported noncompliance with the bid specifications in multiple components.

The bid not only took into account the quality of the camera, but also the efficiency and security of the entire system, “so you’re protecting the evidence that’s being gathered,” Hoover Director of Purchasing Ben Powell explained.

Bid specifications included a range of items from weight requirements, battery life and operating temperature of the cameras to docking module voltage requirements and data storage capabilities.

“When you’re buying these body cameras, you’re buying a system,” Powell said. “(We have) a desire to acquire the most efficient over-all system, not just the best camera.”

The City Council will consider a resolution to reject all three bids received for the body cameras, evidence transfer modules and online storage during the April 6 meeting.

“These body cameras are fairly common throughout the U.S. right now,” Councilman Jack Natter said, expressing confidence the city will find a vendor to supply body cameras for the Police Department.