Stepping up in support of police


Brownstown Police Department recently received support in a couple of ways.

One was approval to purchase bulletproof vests for four new reserve officers and three full-time officers.

The other was the passing of a resolution of support for law enforcement.

Police Chief Tom Hanner said the new reserve officers recently were sworn in and went through the 40-hour pre-basic class, and the next step was to equip them with bulletproof vests.

The full-time officers’ vests are about to expire. Hanner said officers can have them for four years until they are considered expired. Each vest costs $700, so the total to equip the officers will be $4,900.

Clerk-Treasurer Dave Willey confirmed that money was available to make that purchase.

“We didn’t purchase a car this year, and we’re not going to buy one next year out of the budget,” Hanner said.

Hanner said the cost of the vest doesn’t come out an officer’s equipment and clothing allowance because that is only $1,000.

During last Monday’s Brownstown Town Council meeting, Hanner received approval to lower the allowance to $860 per officer so they can include their $140 Fraternal Order of Police dues. That includes legal defense protection, which is a necessity for law enforcement professionals.

“One of the first questions you will get asked if there is a situation with an officer involved, they will want to know if that has been paid,” Hanner said.

Also during the meeting, council President John Nolting read the resolution of support for law enforcement, including officers within the county, state and nation who wear their uniform with honor, dedication and integrity as they protect citizens.

The resolution came about following deaths of police officers throughout the country and the public perception that police are receiving.

“These uniforms have made them targets by those who seek to kill or injure law enforcement officers simply because of their profession and commitment to duty,” Nolting said while reading the resolution.

“The national law enforcement family mourns the recent loss of the number of law enforcement professionals nationwide,” he said. “The citizens of Brownstown stand with the families of the fallen and the officers currently protecting our community, county, state and all officers throughout the United States.”

FOP officials, including national President Chuck Canterbury and local President C.J. Foster with the Donald M. Winn Lodge 108 in Seymour, have called on the administration in Washington, D.C., to acknowledge the crisis and asked them to address the violent surge against police and expand the federal hate crimes law to protect police.

They also have asked for the reauthorization of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program and to fully fund state and local law enforcement assistance programs that provide officers with the resources and equipment they need to do their jobs.

During Tuesday’s Jackson County Board of Commissioners meeting, President Jerry Hounshel also read the resolution, and the three-member board unanimously approved it.

Foster said he appreciated the approval because he recently heard about a city council in Minnesota that was criticized by citizens on Facebook about passing the resolution and then rescinded it during its next meeting.

“Thanks for the support,” Foster told the board. “I’m sure it’s going to mean a lot to the men and women of our lodge who serve the county.”