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City Council Notes: Newlin Sworn In, PPD Adding Body Cameras

Robert Lawon
Wikimedia Commons

As of Tues., the Peoria City Council now has a full complement of members.

Newly appointed councilman Tim Newlin was sworn in, so there are once again 11 members around the horseshoe. Newlin replaces Ryan Spain, who left the council when he was elected to the state legislature.

After being sworn in, Newlin said he would be guided by what first district council member Denise Moore said when she was sworn in.

“Let each of you regard the other as more important,” Newlin said.

Newlin’s tenure will be short. He will be replaced in May after the municipal elections. In the interim, he says he will focus on neighborhood issues and job creation.

In other business:

Residents of Peoria will soon see a limited number of body cameras on police officers. The Council approved a new position in the police department. The project manager position will have several duties, with implementation of body cameras the most immediate. Police Chief Jerry Mitchell says a pilot program will begin as soon as April.

The pilot will last six months. If it’s successful, full implementation of body cameras will occur next year. The police department will find savings elsewhere in its operation to fund the cost of the new project manager.

The council also approved changes in its zoning ordinance that requires wireless communication tower applicants to request a special use permit. That in turn would trigger public hearings. The ordinance is not a blanket prohibition on neighborhood towers, but it makes that type of placement a low priority.