Posted: Feb 19, 2013 12:11 PM by Janine Reyes
Updated: Feb 19, 2013 6:45 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI -- Last May an audit turned up missing license plate and registration stickers at the motor vehicle department in Nueces County. Today crews are dropping cables to install security cameras all over the office.
The system should be up and running by early next week; perfect timing for a department that sees most of its traffic the first few months of the year.
Several other security measures are also now in place.
"We had some missing inventory, we had missing stickers," Tax Assessor Collector Kevin Keischnick said, explaining the need for the extra security.
"We did get some information about stickers being sold on the street for $160, and we were able to trace that back to uninsured motorists and so forth," he said.
That's just one problem he encountered when taking office last year. An investigation into the 400 missing license plates and missing registration stickers is continuing.
Meanwhile, he's been taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.
The inventory room has now been closed in, locked up and all inventory must be handled by at least two people.
There are also lockers assigned to each employee so that inventory and cash is not left out.
"We know who's got what at all times, and if something is missing, it holds that particular clerk responsible for the missing inventory," said Keischnick.
The last step toward accountability is underway now that cameras are being installed to monitor the department. Those 30 cameras will be spread throughout the Department of Motor Vehicles, they'll cover both the back office area and the customer transactions as well.
"We had an employee who was slapped by somebody who wasn't too happy with their transaction, and so we just want people to be treating people the way they want to be treated as an individual," said Keischnick.
He tells us the cameras will keep an eye on both employees and customers. The 30 cameras will actually be monitored on the 3rd floor of the Nueces County Courthouse in the Tax Assessor-Collector's office.
Also, certain users can log in from anywhere in the building and watch remotely.
Because some wrongdoing is realized after the fact, the video will also be backed up and saved for future reference.
"If somebody purchases a vehicle that should have been salvaged and its not identified on the title, that's some of the things that we're seeing and we want to make sure those things stop to protect somebody from paying more for a vehicle than they should," Keischnick explained.
The cameras cost $25,000 dollars and came out of the Tax Assessor-Collector budget. The county also paid for half.
A state motor vehicle tax paid for the other security measures put in place.
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