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Council to consider COPS grant, new police vehicles
Turlock Police Cars

The Turlock City Council will decide on Tuesday if the Turlock Police Department will receive four new officers and six new vehicles in separate items on their agenda.
The Turlock Police Department was one of 12 agencies to be awarded a half million dollar Community Oriented Policing Services grant from the Department of Justice.
The COPS Hiring Program offers grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire community policing officers. The program provides salaries and benefits for officer and deputy hires for three years. Grantees for the 2014 hiring program were selected based on their fiscal needs, local crime rates, and community policing plans.
The $500,000 would cover about 40 percent of the cost of the new hires and the city would have to subsidize the remaining amount, said Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson. The police department is looking at funding options to cover the additional costs. If the grant is accepted by the City Council the police department would use it to reinstate the street crimes unit according to Jackson.
Residents may also be seeing sleek new police vehicles in town as the Turlock Police Department hopes to purchase a fleet of marked black and white emergency equipped vehicles to replace six vehicles with over 335,000 total miles.
City purchases that exceed $25,000 require approval thus the police department's request to purchase new vehicles from the Patchetts Ford will appear before the Council on Tuesday. The vehicles will be have emergency equipment as well as necessary installations and not exceed $276,000 or $46,000 per vehicle. The Council budgeted $276,000 for the replacement of six vehicles in the 2014-2015 budget as part of the police department's plan. After comparing costs for 2015 Ford Explorer Police Utility vehicles at dealerships in Alhambra and Sacramento, Patchetts in Turlock offered the most competitive price at $28,347.32 per vehicle. The police staff is proposing the purchase of the Ford Explorer due to Ford's discontinuance of the Crown Victoria, a sedan that was used for patrol cars for a number of years.
The Turlock City Council will also consider adopting several Memorandums of Understanding between the Turlock City Employees Association, Turlock Associated Police Officers, and Turlock Firefighters Local #2434. The City Manager and City Attorney's employment agreements with the City of Turlock are also up for renewal.
Also on the agenda:
• An authorization that would allow the Turlock Police Department to trade in firearms to an authorized firearms dealer in order to obtain a trade-in value for those firearms and drive down costs of new weapons with a future firearm dealer.
• A request to amend the Turlock Municipal Code to adopt new speed codes throughout Turlock which would utilize street maintenance funds for the purchase of materials for speed limit signs, painted legends, as well as staff time for installation.
• A recommendation to adopt an ordinance that would allow for a secure drop box for pharmaceutical drugs to placed in the lobby of the Turlock Public Safety Facility for safe disposal of unwanted, unused, or expired pharmaceutical controlled substances.
• An appropriation of $10,000 from the health care reserve for a proposed wellness program for City employees that is slated to begin in January 2015.
The Turlock City Council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.