RIdgeley looking to update technology in police department
By Ronda Wertman
RIDGELEY – Technology is always evolving and Ridgeley is looking at recommendations to update its police force.
The mayor and council are hoping that new police chief Cody Kroll will be successful in efforts to secure grants for new tasers and the database program.
The database system has an estimated cost of $22,000.
Kroll, who has used the database with other agencies, told the council, “It’s a statewide database where we do our incidents on. Everything is digital, it’s automatically sent to the state.”
He explained that the system allows officers to do warrant, license and federal system checks.
“It allows communication between different officers from different areas. It’s a great system,” said Kroll. “It gives us a leading edge. It’s a good tool to use to find somebody.”
Another benefit of the systems is, “It’s utilized by the state attorney’s offices; they don’t have to call me,” he added.
“There’s a grant for everything it’s just a matter of finding it,” Kroll said.
New technology is making the tasers that officers are currently carrying obsolete.
Ridgeley is looking at the Taser 7. Kroll explained that the previous one only had one cartridge, but the new one allows the officer to have more than one shot without having to reload.
With a range of up to 29 feet, Kroll noted, “We don’t have to be up close and personal.”
The taser emits a five second burst and Kroll assured the council that it doesn’t affect the target’s heart, but it does hurt and will make them stop.
“Ninety-five percent of the time if they see that red dot they will comply. It’s a good less-lethal tool,”Kroll said. “They are costly, but they are needed. Each officer has to be trained, certified and recertified.”
In other business, residents are reminded to keep storm drains on or near their properties clear of leaves and debris to help deter flooding in heavy rains. With colder weather residents are urged to clear their sidewalks from snow as soon as possible.
As discussions continue on building a new town hall, Councilman Jim Twigg urged the council to consider possible options for the existing building when the time comes.
As part of preparing for the new building, the town is looking into options for a new phone system for the town.
In his report, mayor Mark Jones commented on the very successful Halloween observance, saying, “It was unbelievable the participants in Ridgeley and Carpendale.”
The council will hold its next meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Sharing Life Ministries Center on Second Street.