At the city’s budget meeting on Wednesday, Leitchfield Police Chief Kevin Henderson made several important requests regarding equipment and personnel at the police department.
Henderson said 18 new portable radios were needed for his officers, noting that the Kenwood radios currently used are not sufficient for the department’s needs. The radios cost approximately $550.00 each. Henderson also said the department needs four portable breath testers, at a cost of about $500.00 each.
Henderson is requesting 17 ballistic entry vests for his officers. The vests are designed to stop rifle rounds, something the bullet-proof vests officers wear under their uniforms do not do. The proposed entry vests are to be used under special circumstances, specifically, when confronted with someone armed with a rifle or other high-powered firearm. The vests cost $1,000.00 apiece.
Two mobile radar units (which are kept inside the police cruisers), at a cost of $2,450.00 each, have also been requested by Henderson, as well as two taser units, which cost $850.00 each.
Henderson also would like to add an officer to the force at a cost in the $60-$70,000.00 range, which includes salary, insurance and other employment associated costs. Henderson stated, though, that if he were forced to choose between his equipment needs and hiring another officer, he wants his existing police officers to be safe, making the requested equipment his primary concern.
Henderson noted that the department has been approved for a Highway Safety Grant which would pay for some of the anticipated equipment expenditures. The amount of the grant could be up to $46,000.00, but as of yet, Henderson has not been informed how much grant money the department has been approved for.