Maplesville Police secures $48,000 equipment grant

Published 11:47 am Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Maplesville Police Department has been awarded a Homeland Security grant for about $48,000.

Police Chief Robbie Autery said the grant will be used to purchase eight laptops and docking stations for police officers’ vehicles as well as printers.

He said the laptops the officers had were outdated.

The Maplesville Fire Department has also been awarded a Homeland Security grant to purchase P25 radios.

Grant applications have been a priority for the police department recently to update various equipment.

The department recently applied for a JAG grant for license plate readers.

“The biggest problems we have in our community is from outsiders, not local,” Autery said during an update to the Maplesville Town Council on Jan. 17.

License plate readers would help law enforcement know what vehicles were in the area when a crime occurred.

“It is a great investigative tool,” Autery said.

He said the device does not gather personal information on the owner, just the tag numbers.

During the Jan. 17 council meeting, Autery gave an update on replacing a 2015 Dodge Charger that had been totaled. He said vehicle prices have gone up drastically.

“What I am going to try to do is hold out as long as we can because I can get another Tahoe … for $20,000,” Autery said.

He said the vehicle would be a 2019 and would be declared surplus by the 17th District Attorney’s office when the new vehicles the department has ordered come in.  The town anticipates receiving about $30,000 from the insurance company to replace the totaled vehicle and all of the equipment.

A bill from Chilton County 911 for $9,100 related to the P25 radio system for emergency communication was presented. Mayor W.C. Hayes questioned the maintenance portion of the bill since the system is still under construction and the radios cannot be used yet. Council members and Autery agreed. The town will research the contract it has with 911 with its attorney to see if it can avoid paying the maintenance charge since the system is not in use.

Hayes also mentioned talking to other municipalities to see what they are doing.

Autery also highlighted the work that officers have done by completing business checks and doing checks on houses where the resident is on vacation.

Autery said the vacation watch program was new.

“It’s just something great for the community,” Autery said. “We have had several of those.”

Residents can request it by calling the police department and meeting with an officer prior to going on vacation.