Harlan City Council talks police equipment

Published 11:30 am Monday, September 4, 2023

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The Harlan City Council heard from Harlan City Police Chief Winston “Wink” Yeary during a recent meeting concerning acquiring new vehicles and long guns for the Harlan City Police Department.

Mayor Joe Meadors brought the council up to speed on some equipment purchases for the Harlan City Police Department.

“We’ve got two or three things we want to talk about with the police department,” Meadors said. “One is some new police vehicles.”

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Meadors explained there has been a change in state law regarding where cities and counties may purchase police vehicles.

“We advertised last Wednesday, we’ll open bids for two SUVs, Dodge Durangos,” Meadors said. “Another thing…we’ve got some vehicles we need to get off the road.”

According to Meadors, some of the police department’s vehicles have high mileage and create high repair costs.

Meadors called on Yeary to update the panel on the police department’s vehicles.

“Like the Mayor said, our fleet is old,” Yeary said. “We’ve got several cars that have over 100,000 miles on them…those cars are pretty good when they’re new, but as they get older, the cost for parts is just incredible.”

Yeary noted replacing a water pump in those vehicles costs approximately $1,600.

“Whenever these cars reach 100,000 miles, that’s when you’ve got to start replacing the water pumps,” Yeary said.

According to Yeary, the time is right to replace at least two vehicles.

“Right now, we’ve got the money in the alcohol account; we need to spend it,” Yeary said. “We need four (vehicles) actually. If later on if you guys feel like we should get two more, I’m all for it.”

Yeary also advised the council that new rifles have been acquired for the department using funding available from alcohol tax revenue, which is to be used for law enforcement to purchase new rifles.

“We had rifles that are approaching 20 years old,” Yeary said. “We replaced the old rifles.”

Yeary told the panel his department is also in the process of replacing radios.

“Our radios are approaching 18 years old,” Yeary told the council.

Yeary additionally told the council the Harlan City Police Department recently received a high safety rating from the Kentucky League of Cities, resulting in a 12 percent insurance discount.

“We made a commitment – the council did – with the alcohol tax to make sure that our policemen are as best equipped as we can afford,” Meadors said. “We’ve got sufficient monies in our alcohol account to do this with no problems.”