Officers with the Crothersville Police Department will soon receive a couple of new items to help keep them safe while protecting and serving the community.
During a recent meeting at the town hall, the Crothersville Town Council unanimously approved the purchase of four dash cams and four barriers for the full-time officers’ vehicles.
Police Chief Matt Browning presented a quote of $7,999.95 from 10-8 Video Digital Evidence Solutions of Fayetteville, Tennessee, for the dash cams and a quote of $5,832 from Dana Safety Supply Inc. of Greensboro, North Carolina, for the barriers.
The dash cams are quad high-definition and Wi-Fi capable DVR cameras (one for the front of the vehicle and one for the rear). The quote also includes four 900 megahertz wireless microphones, 32-gigabyte SD cards, mirror monitors, all necessary cables and mounting brackets and lifetime software and firmware updates.
They are $1,995 each plus $19.95 shipping.
“We’ve never had dash cams, I don’t think, and at this point, I think it’s a matter of safety not only for the public but for our officers,” council President Danieta Foster said.
“I agree 100%,” Councilman Jamy Greathouse said. “I think especially with the state of everything right now, this is for the community’s safety, our officers’ safety.”
Foster said the officers also have been having difficulties with their body cameras, so new ones may be requested in the future.
“This is just one part of it,” she said of approving the dash cams now and considering replacing body cameras later.
“I agree that we do need these,” council Vice President Chad Wilson said before making a motion to approve the spending request for the dash cams.
The barriers include four recessed panel partitions coated in polycarbonate ($663 each), four cargo barriers ($365 each) and four dual t-rail weapon mounts ($355 each).
That comes to a total of $5,532 plus $300 for shipping.
Foster said she believes this expense could be reimbursed.
“I’ve never liked the idea that they drive arrestees to Brownstown (to the county jail) with them sitting beside them, but they have no choice because they have no cage,” she said of the police officers. “At this time with COVID, it makes it even more important because (the arrestees would be) in the back seat.”
In the fall of 2018, Browning requested cages after a couple of incidents occurred in police vehicles.
While he was in front of a police car talking to someone, a handcuffed woman in the front passenger seat kicked the windshield three times.
Another time, while an officer was searching a stolen Dodge Charger and other officers were interviewing a female passenger, a man who was arrested and put into the front seat of a police car was able to gain control of it, drive through a yard and onto State Road 256.
After a pursuit of about a mile and a half, the man drove into a field near a wooded area and exited the cruiser on foot. During the pursuit, dispatchers were able to keep track of the cruiser through its GPS system. There was no damage to the police car.
Other police and fire departments helped in the search for the man, and he was on the run for more than 12 hours until being recaptured and taken into custody. He still had his handcuffs on.
The town’s police vehicles are not equipped with cages, and officers are trained that it’s safer for them to put suspects in the front seat if the car doesn’t have a cage.
Browning said when a handcuffed suspect is in the back seat of a police car without a cage, it’s more of a worry because they could get their hands free and put them over an officer’s head or around their neck.