IT Clears Up Missing 55 Minutes of City Hall Surveillance Video - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

IT Clears Up Missing 55 Minutes of Hattiesburg City Hall Surveillance Video

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Controversy was caused last week about the night city hall was left unlocked. Questions were also raised about the surveillance video. There were some suspicions that it could have possibley been tampered.

If you take a the surveillance video from the night of June 5, the room is completey dark, but all of a sudden you see three people appear at the door without walking inside the building.

"The recording set up on it is set for motion detection," said Gilliand Electronics technician Jared Gilliland.

Gilliland said that means the cameras stop recording after about 15 seconds of no motion.

"When there is no movement in the room it will not record," he said.

He said the camera system freezed a still frame of the last few seconds when the janitor left for the evening.

"From what I've seen the cleaning lady turns the lights off and that's where the footage stops," Gilliland said.

It picks back up when the police and city hall employee, Francie Griffin, come inside the building. However, Gilliland says it sometimes takes a few seconds for the motion cameras to pick up.

"There's just so much sensitivity with these cameras," he said.

Gilliland said that explains why we don't actually them entering the building.

"If it breaks so many blocks in the sensitivity grid on these cameras, then it will pick it up," he said.

Part of the surviellance video city hall gave us is labeled June 5 from 4 p.m. to midnight . That's a complete 8 hours of footage, but the video is short about 55 minutes.

"The 55 minutes you are looking at,  that's missing is from about four hours," he said.

Gilliland said typical because those are the portions spread out over the entire time frame... That there is no motion in the room. He also said says this type of DVR security camera system is very common.

"Probably 90 to 95 percent of the one's we've put in are set to motion record because the more hard drive you get on a DVR, the more money it takes to buy one."

It's also important to note that Election Commission Chairman George Decoux told us that the uncounted affidavit ballots were inside a box with a seal on it. He said that's the reason why they continued counting the votes without any major concerns.

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