West Mead spends money on repairs, plans to buy police vehicle

Sep. 17—WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — Supervisors ratified nearly $5,000 in spending and made plans to spend approximately $50,000 more at their meeting earlier this week as the township police department continues its attempts to fill three vacant part-time officer positions.

Supervisors are expected to vote on the most expensive item, a new police department sport utility vehicle (SUV), at their October meeting.

The other expenses, which had been paid for prior to their retroactive ratification at the meeting, consisted of repair work on the township's 2007 Mack dump truck and a new laptop for a police department vehicle. The repairs were performed by Brown's Auto Repair of Meadville, according to Secretary-Treasurer Jill Dunlap.

Various repairs on the dump truck cost $2,267.58 while the Panasonic Toughbook computer, designed for use in harsh conditions, cost $2,683.76.

Chief Chip Brown of West Mead Township Police Department told the supervisors that the laptop being replaced, in use for about 18 months, had been the department's newest but was not one of the heavy-duty models now available. Prior to the Crawford County Fair, the device's motherboard failed, according to Brown. The computer has since been repaired and is being used by the township as a spare, he added.

Brown also hopes to add a 2022 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor SUV for use by one of the department's two full-time officers. The older of the department's two current Explorers would be rotated for use by the department's part-time staff officers and the department's Chevrolet Tahoe would be assigned for use by the township.

Delivery time for a new police vehicle was expected to be 18 to 20 weeks with additional time necessary for installation of equipment before the vehicle could be put in service.

Brown also told supervisors that he had received one application and additional inquiries regarding the department's part-time officer openings. After the meeting he said the department has three openings for part-time officers. A posting on the township website says the department is accepting applications for both full- and part-time positions. Dunlap said that while full-time applications are being accepted, the two full-time positions are currently filled.

The township force consists of two full-time positions and five part-time positions. As chief, Brown represents one of the part-time positions.

The Board of Supervisors next meets in the township building, 1150 Morgan Village Road, for a study session at 6 p.m. Oct. 12. A regular meeting follows at 7.

Mike Crowley can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at mcrowley@meadvilletribune.com.