County gains access to Bi-State security footage to assist law enforcement

By Pam Funk

BELLEVILLE – The St. Clair County Board unanimously approved a one-year agreement with Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District for the Sheriff’s Department to be able to view Metro’s video footage. 

The terms and conditions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) allows the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department to access copies of any video recording made by Metro Transit.  Authorized personnel from the Sheriff’s Department will have remote access to Metro Transit’s CCTV devices for real-time monitoring of video surveillance footage from cameras installed on Metro Transit’s light rail platforms and other facilities as well as have the ability to request copies of video surveillance footage from buses and light rail cars.  

Metro Transit will provide the software and connectivity, at no cost to St. Clair County, that will be housed at the Sheriff’s sub-station located at the Emerson Park MetroLink Station in East St. Louis.  The need for future locations will be decided by both parties.  

The MOU specifically states that the Sheriff’s Department only has a limited right to use the video and must be used strictly for law enforcement purposes.  Any other use of the video is prohibited. The Sheriff’s Department can’t record, download, copy, save, or distribute any video. If a copy of an event is needed by the Sheriff’s Department, a request will need to be submitted to the Metro Public Safety Department who will send the copy to the Sheriff’s Department authorized representative. Under the MOU, the Sheriff’s Department will not be able to share the video with any third party such as local law enforcement departments.  

In other action at the March 25 meeting, the Board unanimously passed the renewal of the property and casualty insurance for MidAmerica STL Airport. The renewal annual cost is $372,547, a decrease of $59,198 from the current cost. The effective date of the renewal is April 1, 2019 and expires April 1, 2020. Coverage will remain the same with the same insurance companies. Lockton, the County’s broker, will receive a $71,000 service fee that is included in the annual cost.