by Ashley Remkus PRICEVILLE – New bulletproof vests for two officers are the most recent purchases among more than ,000 worth of equipment the Priceville Town Council is buying for the Police Department.
The council on Monday approved spending 5 to cover about half the cost of the two vests, which also are being partially funded by a federal grant.
The expenditure comes as the Police Department is researching the cost of new body cameras to equip its reserve officers.
Priceville officers are required to wear bulletproof vests anytime they are in uniform or on duty, while the plate-armor vests are for use during high-threat situations, said Police Chief Billy Peebles.
“The plate-armor vests are for your biggest emergency calls and the type of situations where the threat level is higher than usual,” Peebles said.
“They’re too thick for you to wear every day like the regular vests, and they weigh a ton.” Cpl.
Herman Davis told the council the department received $987 in federal grant money to help pay for the two replacement vests, which are for Assistant Chief Ron De Weese and Cpl. At the urging of Mayor Melvin Duran, the Police Department is researching the cost of purchasing body cameras for its reserve officers.
“I think if they’re out there, they ought to be wearing the cameras just like the other officers,” Duran said.
“We need to be able to see what’s happening when they’re out there working — for their safety and the public’s.” Davis said the department had been looking at six cameras that are 0 each for the reserve officers.
But, after finding a different camera model for 0, the department is considering asking the council also to replace the cameras worn by the five full-time officers, he said.
Because the cost would remain somewhere around the ,000-,000 mark, it would be sensible to keep all of the officers wearing the same camera model, he said.
Peebles said he wants to make sure the officers are getting equipment that’s “the best fit for what we are doing.” “Some cameras don’t do well in rain if you are out working a wreck for hours,” he said.