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Dorchester OKs $8,500 upgrade to squad vehicle

Dorchester’s village board took the next step in securing police protection for its residents when it agreed to several upgrades to the village’s squad car during its monthly meeting on Monday night.

The village recently contracted with the Clark County Sheriff’s Department for a patrol deputy after the retirement of police chief Gary Leichtman, and the resignation of officer Consuela Maldanado back in July.

A caveat of this contract is that the village is required to make several upgrades to the village’s squad car computer system, following an inspection by deputy Wade Hebert.

“One of the things that has to change for sure is the computer system because that is a state required thing, and it hasn’t been updated in years,” deputy-clerk treasurer Christie Erikson told the board.

A new defibrillator and spike strips are also recommended as equipment in the vehicle.

Erikson said there’s the possibility of getting grant money to help fund the purchase of the defibrillator, but another required item did raise a few eyebrows.

According to Hebert, the squad vehicle should really be equipped with a rifle, Erikson told the board.

“Dorchester has never required a police officer [to have a rifle] because we’ve never purchased a rifle or gun for police officers,” she said. (Leichtman had his own handgun.) The rifle could cost anywhere between $600 to $16,000, but the board recommended they keep the price somewhere in the range of $1,200-$1,500, and that it be issued solely to the temporary deputy. Erikson informed the board that the total cost of the upgrades would be around $8,500, but with Leichtman’s retirement in July, the village has saved $22,000 in wages, which can be used to pay for the upgrades.

Editor’s note: More news from Monday’s meeting will be published in next week’s edition.