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Middletown council approves buying new rifles and AEDs for police

By Dan Miller, danmiller@pressandjournal.com
Posted 5/2/17

Middletown Borough Council approved buying over $17,000 worth of new equipment for the police department during council’s May 2 meeting.

Council approved buying nine new rifles to replace used …

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Middletown council approves buying new rifles and AEDs for police

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Middletown Borough Council approved buying over $17,000 worth of new equipment for the police department during council’s May 2 meeting.

Council approved buying nine new rifles to replace used rifles that were donated to the department several years ago by Three Mile Island. The TMI rifles are worn out, the department says.

Every department vehicle will be equipped with a new rifle. The department now has seven vehicles but is requesting the purchase of two more vehicles. One is to replace a vehicle that was in a wreck, the other would replace a vehicle that is worn out.

The nine rifles with rear flip sights are being purchased from Stag Arms LLC for $9,000. Council also approved buying nine suppressors for the rifles for $5,108, making the total purchase price $14,108 - a decrease from an estimate of $18,846 that Mayor James H. Curry III had provided during council’s last meeting.

Council also approved spending $2,500 to buy two new Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for the department. The new AEDs will be placed in patrol vehicles. Council also approved spending up to $750 to replace a battery in the one AED that the department has in the police station now.

Council’s action means the department will have three AEDs, one in the station and two in the vehicles, said interim Police Chief George Mouchette.

On a related note, council formally approved transferring monthly revenue that the borough receives from leasing a cell tower to a fund that supports the purchase of equipment for the police department. The borough gets about $2,000 a month from AT&T for the cell tower lease.

The money had been earmarked to help pay for renovating and reopening the Elks Theatre as a performing arts center. At Councilor Ian Reddinger’s urging, council decided to shift the funds toward police purchases since the borough plans to transfer the Elks Theatre to a non-profit group for $1. If the transfer does not go through council has said it plans to sell the theater on the open market.

Councilor Anne Einhorn abstained from the vote, as her husband is on the board of directors of Friends of the Elks Theatre, the non-profit group to which the borough plans to transfer the theater to for $1.

In another police-related matter, council following a closed-door executive session voted to advertise an ordinance amending Civil Service Commission rules and regulations to eliminate minimum written examination scores for the promotion of borough police officers.

The move would not impact minimum qualifications for the position or the overall score for the promotion consideration, said Councilor Dawn Knull. It only adjusts the written examination requirement, she said.

Council approved advertising the change by 5-1 vote, with Councilor Diana McGlone dissenting. Councilor Ben Kapenstein was absent.