ATLANTA --In a 10-2 vote Monday, the Atlanta City Council authorized the Mayor's office to spend $3.9 million on new security cameras for the city's watershed department.
The vote comes as the department and Atlanta Police investigate recent equipment thefts from watershed facilities. In December, thousands of dollars worth of water meters were stolen from a department warehouse.
Councilwoman Felicia Moore was one of two dissenting votes Monday; Moore says she will not vote to authorize money for additional cameras when the current ones can't seem to stop the thieves.
"When we go to look at the cameras that are in that area, the cameras are not operable or you can't see the picture or there's always an excuse," she said. "But I know that we've spent millions of dollars in that effort."
11Alive asked the department for surveillance video from any of the thefts, but a spokesperson denied the request, saying the department did not want to give away where the cameras were located.
Scheree Rawles, communications director for the watershed department, said the request for new cameras was not in direct response to the thefts, but rather an effort to fulfill a federal mandate handed down by Homeland Security; a way to increase the department's overall security, protecting not only equipment, but the city's water supply.
Rawles said the department is looking at measures to prevent future thefts, including tagging equipment and installing GPS trackers.