Police, fire chiefs request equipment in 2018 budget | The Jacksonville News – Alabama News

Police, fire chiefs request equipment in 2018 budget | The Jacksonville News – Alabama News

The city’s fire and police chiefs Monday asked for new equipment and vehicle purchases in the 2018 fiscal year.

The Jacksonville City Council focused mainly on the police and fire departments in its final of three work sessions to determine the greatest needs and find any possible spending cuts for its draft 2018 budget. Both chiefs asked mostly for the city to replace aging equipment used in the field. The requests come in the face of a $900,000 deficit in the proposed $14.46 million budget.

With the final budget work session complete, the council members are set to meet Aug. 21 to discuss their spending priorities and recommend spending cuts, if any. The city’s next fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

The draft budget has a projected deficit in part because of department equipment requests, employee raises, insurance price jumps and the recently opened Jacksonville Public Safety Complex.

Police Chief Tommy Thompson’s proposed $2.2 million department budget requests purchases such as $15,000 for bulletproof vests.

“It’s been five years since we’ve had bulletproof vest upgrades … we’ve applied for a grant, but it has not been approved yet,” Thompson said during the meeting.

Thompson also requested other equipment purchases such as $16,632 for in-car cameras, $62,740 for two patrol vehicles and $24,600 for an investigator vehicle.

“We’re pretty much bare bones like last year, but with a few purchase increases,” Thompson said of his proposed budget spending.

Fire Chief Wade Buckner and his approximately $2.5 million…

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