The first Moab City Council meeting of 2022 welcomed newly elected officials Joette Langianese, Jason Taylor and Luke Wojciechowski. The meeting took place online on Jan. 11, due to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. For the next 30 days, city council meetings will take place online.
“I’m double-masking now, I’m very nervous about it, I have a 101-year-old father who I want to visit and don’t want to contaminate,” Langianese said. “I’m sure everybody has a similar situation.”
At the meeting, the council discussed community board appointments for members of the council and heard updates from the police department.
Every January, the mayor and council discuss who will serve on various community boards and committees. Langianese sorted the boards into five categories: water boards, such as the Moab Area Watershed Partnership and Southeast Utah Riparian Partnership; economy and tourism boards, such as the Chamber of Commerce Board and County Trail Mix Board; housing-related boards, such as the Homeless Coordinating Committee; education boards, like the Grand County School District Board; and government boards, such as the City of Moab Legislative Committee and Community Renewable Energy Agency Board.
The council will vote on official appointments at their next meeting on Jan. 25.
Police Department Updates
Assistant Police Chief Brayden Palmer presented on budgeting issues with the current Axon software and hardware that the police department uses—currently, the police department uses Axon tasers, body cameras and the Axon digital evidence management system.
The police department uses Taser X2s, which range from 6-7 years old and cost $1,500 each. This is an issue, Palmer said, because first, the Axon liability coverage only extends to five years, and second, because the tasters are only meant to last five years at all—weapons that are more than five years old are two times more likely to fail in the field, according to Axon.
The Axon body cameras the police department uses—the Axon Body 3—cost $699 each, and store videos on www.evidence.com, which is a server-based storage system managed by Axon. The police department has limited storage in this system, and the system requires that individual users purchase software licensing.
“It’s become a budget issue that we repeatedly have to add on this storage,” Palmer said.
Palmer asked the council to consider approving a future contract with Axon so the department can purchase the “Axon Officer Safety Plan” which would give officers access to the newest equipment and would also give officers access to virtual reality “empathy training” that can track individual officer performances. The cost would be about $250 monthly per officer.
“In light of what’s going on in the world and the need to ultimately change the way that we train, because we do, and implement these de-escalation tactics,” Palmer said. “it’s a really good opportunity for us.”
The Moab City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. Meetings are streamed online at the Moab City Youtube channel. Schedules, agendas and opportunities for public comment can be found at www.moabcity.org