Fredonia discusses proposed police budget

The village of Fredonia will be purchasing two new police vehicles in the near future, pending budget approval. Fredonia Police Chief Bradley Meyers met with the Fredonia Village Board Monday evening during a budget work session.

Meyers would like to purchase two police vehicles, one a four-wheel drive model. Meyers is estimating it will cost $36,500 for the four-wheel drive vehicle and $33,500 for the regular vehicle. If ordered on June 1, delivery would fall between September and October. Meyers plans on talking to other police departments in the county which recently purchased cars to see what car maker they prefer.

“I’m waiting to see how everyone who jumped on the new vehicles in the first of the year, how happy they are with their vehicles,” he said.

The two vehicles will replace a 2008 four-wheel drive Dodge Durango with 150,000 miles and a 2009 Crown Victoria that has 90,000 miles.

Both vehicles will have to be in use by the department at least until September. The Durango will replace the pickup truck the department currently uses for hauling barricades, among other uses. Meyers wants to have another four-wheel drive vehicle for its advantage.

“It is western New York, we’re going to get snow. We have had several incidents where having a four-wheel drive vehicle has worked to our advantage,” Meyers said. “What got us into (having four-wheel drive vehicle) was losing a vehicle in a snow storm; we lost a four-wheel drive vehicle that was fleeing the scene from a larceny out of Walmart … We simply could not keep up with (the vehicle) in the weather conditions.”

Other purchases include five patrol rifles and two tasers. Meyers said having patrol rifles in the vehicles is “absolute.”

“The need for patrol rifles to me is just absolute,” he said.

Meyers could not get a pricing for guns due to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act. He said he was looking at Smith and Wesson guns but is willing to purchase from another manufacturer as long as they are “tried and true.”

Meyers would also like to renovate the dispatch area and add an interview room addition. The department currently does not have an interview room where individuals can be left if fellow officers need to have a conversation.

“If I leave someone in a room to go out and have a conversation, they’re in a room with pens, knives, phones, computers … We have no interview room. We have to get it,” Meyers said.

The dispatch area renovation would not be a “major overhaul,” Meyers said. The current dispatch monitors are facing outward to the public in the lobby of the police station. The renovation would require turning the monitors around, buying counters where the monitor could be sunk in, and doing electrical work.

The interview room would be at a cost of $18,000 and the dispatch area renovations would be at a cost of $15,000. All of these projects will come out of a capital project fund budget.

Trustee Joseph Cerrie asked Meyers to rank the projects by importance to the department.

Meyers said the two vehicles are “absolute,” then the patrol rifles, interview room addition and dispatch area renovations, respectively. Mayor Stephen Keefe will present his budget to the trustees in mid-March.

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