Police Dept. assesses its equipment needs

By on August 13, 2010

by Ryan Wells
Elburn—As part of the village’s efforts to start the budgetary process early for the next fiscal year, each department is tasked with submitting its preliminary capital-expenditures list to the Village Board for review.

Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven presented his list during a Public Works meeting last week, and Police Chief Steve Smith presented his during the Aug. 2 Village Board meeting.

“This is an initial, very rough estimate on things,” Smith said. “We are not intending to buy squad cars this fiscal year, which is hopefully a plus.”

On the list for the next fiscal year is an estimated expenditure of $20,000 for general equipment including radar units and office equipment and for the replacement of deteriorating squad emergency equipment such as light bars, sirens and radios.

“They’ve reached the end of their useful life; they are deteriorating,” Smith said. “The radar should have been replaced several years ago.”

Smith estimated that needed body-armor replacement would be a $12,000 expense. He said that the bulletproof vests should be replaced every five years, and that this expenditure would cover body armor for approximately half of the force.

The Federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership grant refunds 50 percent of the cost to the village after it makes the purchase, which means $6,000 would be reimbursed for the $12,000 initial purchase.

Trustee Bill Grabarek asked if the body armor moves with officers who work part time in Elburn and full time in another department.

Smith said that if an officer works full time somewhere else, the vest would usually go with the officer.

“Most part-time officers in Elburn are not currently working full-time somewhere else,” he said.

Smith estimated $15,000 is needed to begin the replacement of the department’s office furniture. He said that many of the desks no longer work and chairs are falling apart.

“With the exception of the two desks in the Records section, all of the existing desks and office chairs, file cabinets, etc. need to be replaced,” Smith wrote in his report.

A to-be-determined amount of money will be needed to replace the in-squad computers. In the document presented to the board, Smith stated that the village’s contract with Tri Com requires that all in-squad computers be Primary Mobile Data Client compatible by May 1, 2012. Currently, Elburn officers are unable to make use of the information systems available through Tri Com.

“With that in mind, other funding sources are currently being pursued to accomplish well before the deadline,” Smith wrote in the report.

The department obtained one computer funded with a federal grant. The grant gave the state of Illinois money to provide 450 squad-car computers to police departments in the state, not including counties’ law enforcement agencies or larger cities’ police departments. Elburn requested five computers, and the state received approximately 1,000 requests for the computers.

“So, we got one,” Smith said.