Brownstown Police Department to receive equipment via CARES Act funding



Instead of having to find funding in its own budget, the Brownstown Police Department is taking advantage of an opportunity from the federal government to buy needed equipment.

Police Chief Tom Hanner recently asked the Brownstown Town Council for approval to buy body cameras, e-ticket scanners, stop sticks, portable breath tests, handheld radios, computers and personal protective equipment through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

That was unanimously approved.

The request includes 12 Axon 3 body cameras, mounting clips and a new docking station, valued at $13,870. The department also will continue to use to store videos from the body cameras.

A quote of $2,168 for three e-ticket scanners came from Enterprise Technical Group.

“We’ve got cars that don’t have that right now,” he said of e-ticket capability. “That’s something we should have done years ago. … The court system wants us doing e-tickets.”

The funding also allows stop sticks and portable breath tests to be available in all of the police vehicles instead of officers having to share them, Hanner said.

The stop sticks, which are used to impede or stop a vehicle by puncturing its tires, come in 3-foot sections and are stored in a bag in the back of a police vehicle.

Hanner said portable breath tests had been shared as a way to save money on the department’s budget a few years ago.

The handheld radios also needed to be upgraded, Hanner said. He spoke to the county’s 911 director about paying for half of the cost, and that was approved.

The total request comes in at $39,232.07, which takes up most of the $39,900 the town has remaining in CARES Act availability. Clerk-Treasurer David Willey had not had any other town departments submit requests.

Brownstown Wastewater Utility Superintendent Scott Hunsucker said he is pretty well-stocked with PPE, and Street Superintendent Phil Owens and Park Superintendent Kevin Hanner didn’t have any needs.

Willey said the town has money to pay for the police department requests until it receives reimbursement.

In a separate request, the police department asked for computers to use onsite and offsite independently as a way to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. That total was $44,217.

A second request was for PPE supplies for the town hall; police, street, park and wastewater departments; and pool for employees and customers. That included gloves, disinfecting wipes, full-face respirators and goggles. The total was $10,112.

The council also unanimously approved those requests to be submitted for the town to be reimbursed.

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