January 11, 2007
Grant Will Fund Project Illumination For MPD
A 2007 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG) will help the Memphis Police Department upgrade the department’s police cars with new lights and sirens.
The federal grant will provide $8,792.80 in combination with a 10-percent match by the city of $876.98 to fund Project Illumination at a total cost of $9,769.78.
The project will install new LED emergency lighting on three of the police cars as well as new surface mount lights, new center control consoles and new signal speaker sirens.
“When an officer is given effective equipment to execute his or her duties the quality of an officer’s performance will most certainly increase thereby allowing them to direct their attention to the safety of the community and its citizens for which they are employed,” said City Marshal John Myers.
Myers said the grant will serve to increase the safety level for each officer.
The project was deemed necessary to replace out-dated equipment that had been in use for 10 to 20 years in the city’s four patrol cars. The new LED technology will replace older mirrored lights and are expected to produce greater visibility with a much-longer life expectancy.
“The greater visibility will create a higher level of safety for officers as well as other motorists when our patrol cars are on a traffic stop or en route to an emergency,” Myers said.
A total of 208 applications were received for the 2007 LLEBG Program seeking more than $1.5 million in funding. Ultimately the federal program granted $1,087,000 to Missouri law enforcement agencies.
In other police department news, the department’s fleet of patrol vehicles will expand to include the use of an SUV.
The Memphis City Council authorized officer Jason Moss to patrol in his personal vehicle to allow the use of his canine unit.
The SUV has emergency lights and sirens and is clearly identified as a law enforcement vehicle.
The move was made due to the requirements of transporting the canine. The vehicle will be clearly identified as a Memphis Police Department vehicle when it is on patrol within the city.
The city will provide fuel for the patrol time but the vehicle owner will maintain insurance and absorb all other costs of using the private vehicle.
The city council also authorized more than $2,000 in repairs to the police chief’s car. The damage occurred last year but no accident report was ever filed.
Citizen Frances Perkins addressed the council on January 7th about the resignation of city marshal Steve Snodgrass.
Perkins called the move a forced resignation of a duly elected official and questioned if the city council really respected the will of the people, the electorate to which the officials owed their own jobs.
“In my 60 years I’ve never asked to know anyone of higher character or more genuine devotion to the public’s best interest,” she told the council.
Mayor Roger Gosney stated the city would not discuss personnel matters that were conducted in executive session but assured Perkins that the move was made voluntarily by chief Snodgrass.
Former Memphis city marshal Terry Simerl has rejoined the force as a patrolman. The council voted 4-0 to offer employment to Simerl at the January 7th meeting. Simerl had been working for the Kahoka Police Department.