City Council approves police requests

By Gary Scott on April 12, 2016 at 9:23am

Jacksonville Deputy Police Chief Chad Moore (left) displays a polic squad car to Alderwoman Marcy Patterson, while Police Chief Tony Grootens talks to aldermen Don Cook and Travis Richardson.

Jacksonville aldermen approved several Public Protection items for the Jacksonville Police Department on Monday.

City Council approved a resolution authorizing advertisement for bids for three SUV squad cars for the police department, accepting a proposal for the purchase and installation of equipment for the squad cars, and the purchase of ten Tasers.

Jacksonville Police Chief Tony Grootens was in the JPD parking lot prior to the start of the meeting to show aldermen the cars that would be replaced.

“They set up taller, which is easier for bigger guys to get in and out of, of course. And they’ve got all the gear, they’re carrying all the gear on them. So, it’s just going to be better all the way around. They’re not sitting so low to the ground, they’re sitting up higher, you can see better. And there’s more room,” says Grootens.

“We ran in to a problem last year of being able to transport some prisoners. These SUVs, there seems to be a lot more room.”

Aldermen also waived advertisement for bids to seek proposals for equipmentto complete the interior of the Jacksonville Police Department training facility.

Grootens told aldermen the police department went out for bids several weeks ago to finish up the project, but they came back relatively high. As a result, the previously-predicted completion time of October is now uncertain.

“We hope to be able to get the proposals back in, and then be able to come in under budget. We’re not using any city funds for this, this is all drug proceeds funded,” he explains. “If we can get them back in and they’re all under budget, then we’ll go ahead and move forward immediately. Otherwise, the reason we did it piecemealing is, we might have to do proposals.”

Grootens anticipates the JPD will get between $30,000 to $40,000 from the asset forfeiture fund this year.

“We hope that’s what it’s going to be. [The federal government] suspended the program last fall because they swept the funding. There wasn’t enough funding to disseminate. And they just now are implementing it back in,” he says.

In other action, aldermen passed a resolution accepting a proposal for the purchase of surfacing complaint with the Americans With Disabilities Act at the new Community Park playground, costing nearly $32,000.

City Council approved the 2016 Motor Fuel Tax street maintenance program. This year, the city will focus on the northeast section of town and spend about $240,000 on oil and chip work. That’s expected to begin in late July or early August.

Aldermen also approved the purchase of a $108,000 boom mower in the Planning and Public Works agenda.