Feb. 20—The Yuba City Police Department plans to use a $107,000 state grant this year to purchase new equipment for patrol, traffic, its hostage negotiations team and SWAT.
Yuba City Police Chief Rob Landon said state funding was awarded to local law enforcement entities over the last several years in the form of a California Citizens' Option for Public Safety (COPS) grant. The funding is dedicated to frontline law enforcement purposes.
"The police department has traditionally utilized funding obtained in this grant for the major approval expenditure category of technology advancements, critical patrol safety equipment and infrastructure improvements for the benefit of frontline law enforcement delivery to the citizens of our community," Landon said.
In years past, the funding has been used to upgrade the department's radio system; retrofit the Emergency Operations Center; weapon upgrades; equipping patrol vehicles with mobile data terminals that are integrated with the Police Communications Center; upgrading the department's Computer Aided Dispatching (CAD) system; and installation of secure video conferencing capabilities, among other things.
"We would suggest a continuation along this path of technology evaluation and implementation, along with some much-needed patrol staffing equipment upgrades, which has served us very well over the last 20 years," Landon said.
The Yuba City Council held a public hearing regarding the grant funding on Tuesday and adopted a resolution authorizing the chief's expenditure plans, which total approximately $98,700. Landon said each unit in the department was asked to come up with a list of needs, which resulted in the recommended expenditures approved by council members.
"Anything to help keep our officers safe and let them do their job better and keep our citizens (safe), I'm all behind, so thank you for that," said Councilman Dave Shaw.
The largest expenditure ($28,000) will go toward a new "throw phone" system for the department's hostage negotiations team. The phones, which come equipped with updated cameras, are utilized during critical incidents and can record all audio during negotiations with a suspect.
"With all the liability in our current environment, we'd like to have something like that to record, document, and also to be a helpful tool for the officers," Landon said.
The next largest expenditure ($25,000) will be used to purchase three license plate readers and one year of service that will allow the department to strategically place cameras in high-traffic areas to assist in locating vehicles that are stolen or wanted in connection with serious felony crimes.
"I think based on our area's level of stolen vehicles, this is one tool we could put in our bag to effectively combat that, because it will automatically search through thousands and thousands of things that an officer couldn't possibly do," Landon said.
Other planned expenditures include: — Thirty new Glock 17 pistols (9mm) for its patrol unit to replace the department's remaining .40 caliber pistols that are in need of replacement ($15,000). — Two sets of night vision optics and accompanying laser optics for SWAT ($10,000). — Five iPhones and hard mount cases for traffic officers on motorcycles, which will enhance their ability to utilize the department's CAD call screen and help with marking body camera videos in the field ($6,700); — A RedMan instructor suit and two student RedMan suits that are used to train personnel on defensive tactics ($6,500). — Go bags for each patrol vehicle that are equipped with basic medical supplies and additional weapon magazines that can be utilized in the event of a mass critical event ($3,000). — Two mini drones and training for two additional personnel that can be used on patrol to help apprehend fleeing suspects or during search and rescue operations ($3,000). — Two sets of binoculars for the department's SWAT sniper team ($1,500).