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Published: Thursday, 7/4/2002

Maumee police request $141,000 for body armor, new vehicles

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Maumee Police Chief Robert Zink is looking for money.

His 2002 capital budget requests specify $141,000 for new vehicles, computer equipment, and armor.

The city's police and fire divisions' requests also include $100,000 each for a training facility that has been discussed for years.

The chief outlined his requests to the city's finance committee recently, noting that most of the needs are to replace out-dated equipment and vehicles:

  • $15,000 for tactical armor for police officers (current armor is 10 years old).

  • $6,000 for four mountain bikes (current bikes are in their sixth season of use).

  • $25,000 for computer equipment and software.

  • $40,000 for two unmarked cars.

  • $30,000 for a transport van.

  • $25,000 for a vehicle to be used in association with the Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education program.

    The new van would be used to transport prisoners as well as evidence. Each year, the number of “transports” increases, Chief Zink said.

    The new DARE vehicle would replace the 1967 Chevelle SS that recently sold for $6,500. The city received 11 bids for the car that was donated to the division eight years ago after the vehicle was forfeited as part of a drug case.

    Chief Zink is considering buying a Dodge Intrepid that could be decked out in a NASCAR theme with donated decals, tires, wheels, and other items to make it a “unique” DARE vehicle that could be used at schools, parades, and other places to draw attention to the city's successful program, he said.

    A local study conducted in 1999 showed that the response from parents, teachers, and students to Maumee's program was “extremely positive,” he said. It focuses on first, fifth, seventh, and 10th-grade students. The police division has two full-time DARE officers and a part-time officer will be added this fall.

    While the police division's capital budget request includes $6,000 for a laser radar unit, grants are being sought to pay for it, Chief Zink said. The division currently has standard radar in the patrol cars, but only one hand-held laser gun.

    Lt. Mike Noble said the laser gun's beam can be directed at the bumper of a specific car, making it more effective than the standard radar. The laser also can be used to measure distances at accident scenes, which would mean that officers wouldn't have to criss-cross busy streets with a measuring wheel, he said.

    No decisions have been made on whether the requested training facility will be constructed, but the city is constructing a police station, which could cost about $8 million, including $6.8 million for construction of the building and nearly $1.3 million for furniture and other items.

    Capital budget requests will be reviewed by the finance committee and then a recommendation on what to fund will be sent to the Maumee City Council.



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