Columbia City Council approved more than $300,000 of new equipment to replace aging equipment for the Police Department at its Tuesday meeting.
The department will use the money to purchase new radio equipment and cameras for 33 vehicles that are replacing existing vehicles in the department’s fleet. The estimated budget to completely outfit the new vehicles is $798,630, according to documents filed with City Council.
The department will spend approximately $175,108.90 on 33 Coban cameras and accessories for patrol cars. That includes an in-car camera system with both rear and forward-facing color cameras, wireless microphones, covert backseat microphones and software.
The department also was allotted $143,673.75 for 33 new units of Motorola radio equipment and corresponding software.
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Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said after the meeting that the department still is experimenting with body cameras, and he expects that all uniformed officers will be outfitted with a body camera within a year.
City Council also approved $80,000 to purchase 95 body-armor vests for the department. Holbrook said body armor has a shelf life and replacements are needed to secure officers’ safety.