Home Agenda Masks, lawyers and cameras on the county council agenda

Masks, lawyers and cameras on the county council agenda


EDWARDSVILLE – Madison County State Attorney Tom Haine will seek funding from the entire Madison County Council on Wednesday to add license plate-reading cameras throughout the county and hire more lawyers to prosecute cases.

The council, in its role as the Madison County board of health, will also discuss – and possibly vote – a resolution encouraging individual choice to wear masks when children return to school in the fall.

The meeting is set for 5 p.m. Wednesday in the boardroom of the administrative building.

Haine said on Monday he would speak out about the need for cameras and lawyers, echoing arguments made over the past week at the county council’s judiciary and finance committees.

He wants to add around 46 new license plate reading cameras that can track the plates of stolen or otherwise labeled cars. He also wants to add nine lawyers to his staff to manage a large backlog of cases.

Last week, Haine said there were currently around 120 LPR cameras – including movable cameras – in operation in Madison County. But he said they are mainly operated by local municipalities. He wants to add additional cameras to fill the loopholes in the system and coordinate their use.

The use of LPR cameras is one of the cornerstones of efforts announced by the Madison County Cross-River Task Force this spring to curb the increase in crime and criminals coming from Missouri.

The cost of the additional cameras and related expenses is expected to be around $ 1 million, which could be paid for, at least in part, through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Haine is also asking for nine new lawyers to help reduce a backlog of nearly 6,000 criminal cases.

Delays due to the coronavirus pandemic are part of the cause of the backlog. But the county has also been more aggressive than some neighboring counties in laying felony charges over the past decade.

Haine said five of the new lawyers will be permanent additions, while four will help deal with the COVID backlog. The COVID link could allow ARPA to provide funding for the increase, he said. When this source of funding has run out, attrition or other methods would be used to reduce the staff of the state attorney.

The Madison County Public Defender’s Office is also expected to ask for more money to hire lawyers. A formal proposal from this office is expected to be submitted for consideration next month.

Madison County Council will also discuss a resolution regarding parents’ choice to wear masks when students return to class in the fall on Wednesday.

The County Council constitutes the Board of Health and will meet in a special session at the start of the regular County Council meeting.

According to the agenda, the topic will be “Discussion and approval of a resolution encouraging personal choice regarding masks in schoolsâ€.

The non-binding resolution states that all Madison County school district boards “are strongly encouraged to allow families to choose whether or not to have their students wear masks in school buildings and classrooms for the school year. to come up”.

The discussion comes after some parents reached out to county board members for advice on the matter, with many saying it should be their choice if their child wears a mask.


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