Council to consider ordinances to help police

WARREN -- Ordinances to buy new equipment for the police department's drug raid entry team and 12 new police vehicles are on city council's agenda for its meeting at 7:30 p.m. today.
The entry team ordinance would authorize purchase of $33,000 worth of equipment, including bulletproof vests and shields and battering rams, for the 11-member police team that raids drug houses. That money would come from funds forfeited by drug dealers.
Sgt. John Yuricek and Detective Michael Krafcik displayed for council a collection of assault rifles, a sawed-off shotgun and high-capacity magazines confiscated by city police from criminal suspects, together with a cracked door-battering ram and outdated bullet-proof vests and entry shields belonging to the city police department.
The expected life of bulletproof vests and shields is five years, Yuricek told council. "Our current equipment is outdated or broken," he added.
Under the vehicle purchase ordinance, the city would buy five new, fully-equipped, marked 2006 Ford Crown Victoria cruisers for the police for a total of $125,000.
That ordinance would also authorize purchase of seven new unmarked police vehicles from funds forfeited by drug dealers. The ordinance does not itemize the unmarked vehicles or their prices.
Police Chief John Mandopoulos said he wasn't ready for council to pass the entry team equipment ordinance immediately because some of the equipment must be fitted to particular officers, and personnel changes may soon be made on that team. He also said he hadn't previously been shown that ordinance.

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