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Beline Obeid
February 13, 2014
GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The work of the public safety department and the municipal court is about to get somewhat easier, thanks to a grant from the State of Michigan for video arraignment equipment.

According to city administrator Al Fincham, the new equipment will allow "remote" court proceedings to be conducted, including arraignments and assignment of counsel, and will eliminate the need to have prisoners transported to and from the court.

The grant will cover the estimated $12,000 to $15,000 cost of equipment, which will include a 70-inch flat screen television and updated video equipment as well as the installation of the equipment and staff training. The equipment will be installed in the Woods courtroom, while forfeiture money will be used to purchase related equipment for the jail area.

According to Fincham, prisoners are routinely brought to the courtroom through the city offices or across the outside porch, causing a security concern. With the video equipment, the prisoners will remain in the jail lockup area for arraignments. This will eliminate the need to have several Public Safety officers on hand to move prisoners back and forth between the court and jail.

The city council discussed the grant at a committee of the whole meeting Monday, Feb. 10, and will vote on acceptance of the grant at the regular city council meeting Monday, Feb. 24.

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