The majority of buses used by the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities will have mounted video cameras early in 2013, and the rest will be fitted with the systems in the spring.
At its meeting Monday, the board approved spending $49,413 to place four cameras on each of the 26 buses.
Five already are fitted with cameras, and the rest will be done in the spring, said Larry Duck, board superintendent.
The cameras are to monitor behaviors on the buses and mainly geared around protection of the MCDD’s clients, Duck said.
Because of increasing needs of the program and some employee retirements, Duck said the board added new positions to its work force of about 260 — a custodian, a service support administration position, and two workshop specialists for its three adult facilities.
The superintendent said the state took the waiver program from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, which had subcontracted the program, and assigned about 3,000 cases statewide, 118 of which are in Mahoning County, to the boards of developmental disabilities effective Jan. 1.
The waiver program allows people to stay in their homes and get support rather than living in care facilities. Duck said additional service-support personnel are needed to handle the influx of new cases.
The board also adopted a 100 percent tobacco-free environment policy for all board properties.