Dale County commissioners spar over security cameras

One lawmaker expressed concerns that private conversations may be monitored, a claim that the chairman considers ridiculous.
Dale County Commissioners approve the purchase of security cameras on May 9, 2023.
Dale County Commissioners approve the purchase of security cameras on May 9, 2023.(WTVY)
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 7:35 AM CDT
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DALE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVY) - Dale County commissioners are at odds about the need for security cameras at its administration building.

“When you put up cameras in a facility that has never had cameras before, a facility that never had any incidents before, the employees start getting nervous,” Commissioner Adam Enfinger said after the commission approved a second batch of cameras over his objection on Tuesday.

Commission Chairman Steve McKinnon thinks that claim is ridiculous. He said he is in the county building at least six hours daily, and no employee has expressed concerns.

McKinnon said technicians, in the interest of safety, would install cameras in publicly accessible areas and the building’s exterior, including an employee parking lot that is dark at closing time during winter.

“We’re not putting them in any offices, and they (won’t) be over any clerks or employees,” McKinnon told News 4 after deciding to purchase additional cameras, bringing the total cost to about $16,000. The commission approved purchasing another batch on April 25.

McKinnon seemed irked about Enfinger’s recent statements to the Southern Star newspaper that employees had concerns that the county could monitor their private conversations. However, Enfinger told News4 he was only relaying employee concerns.

Representing District 3, he believes the county would be more prudent to spend on things it needs more than cameras.

He also questioned why Harris Security was awarded the project without a bid.

McKinnon responded that Harris is the sole security provider to Dale County, and bids are required only on purchases that exceed $30,000.

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