Tallmadge -- The Tallmadge Police Department is adding four new vehicles to its fleet and upgrading the in-car video surveillance systems for its patrol cars.
City Council authorized the police department March 13 to spend $32,000 to buy two 2014 Ford Fusions outright from Park Ford in Tallmadge. The vehicles are replacing two older vehicles that were being used by detectives.
"The last time we bought unmarked cars was 2005 so we've got some aging cars," said Police Chief Don Zesiger.
One of the Fusions will replace a 2007 Ford Crown Victoria with about 150,000 miles.
One of the replacement vehicles was delivered last week, and the other is expected to arrive in about six to eight weeks.
In addition to the new detectives' cars, the police department also is buying two patrol cars this year with funds that are already in the budget.
Council also gave the police department the OK to upgrade the WatchGuard Video in-car dash-cam systems in eight of the nine patrol cars at a total cost of $45,000, which includes a $9,500 credit for trading in the old systems.
"The technology has changed. The ones we currently have record to a [compact] disc. The ones we're ordering record to a hard drive and then they automatically download to a server once you enter the area of the police department," Zesiger said.
The new technology makes accessing and managing the stored data easier, he said. The surveillance system records video footage of patrol officer encounters, including traffic stops, that's used as evidence.
The current systems that use CDs are eight or so years old, he said.
The video surveillance systems should be installed in the patrol cars within the next several months.
Zesiger said he foresees needing three more replacement patrol cars and one unmarked vehicle.
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