WILMINGTON — Wilmington council’s safety committee met Tuesday to discuss four pieces of “housekeeping” legislation that would, if approved by council, authorize police to sell surplus property, including two older cruisers, and participate in the Greater Warren County Drug Task Force.
Another item the committee approved for council’s consideration would accept revisions to Clinton County’s emergency management plan.
The committee, comprised of chair Joe Spicer and members Mark McKay and Matt Purkey, recommends legislation for other council members’ approval at council meetings.
Annually, council authorizes police to sell surplus property through GovDeals, which sells surplus government property on an online marketplace at www.govdeals.com. The recommended legislation, if approved, would allow Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand to sell surplus property valued at less than $1,000. Property valued at more than $1,000 would require council to deem it surplus.
In a separate piece of legislation, the committee recommended two police cruisers be deemed surplus.
The cruisers, Dodge Challengers, are five years old, Weyand said, and it’s more cost-effective to replace them than it is to keep them on the road.
“I look at each of our cars, and I factor in a cost of ownership,” Weyand said. “If it’s a newer car … it’s probably costing you about one cent a mile to operate. These cars here are pushing between six and eight cents a mile to operate. When you factor in that we’re driving on average 190,000 miles a year patrolling the city, it gets a little pricey.”
Weyand said any old equipment that can be re-used in newer vehicles will be recycled, and the cars usually sell for a few thousand dollars.
On a third police matter, the committee recommended council approve the Wilmington Police Department’s participation in the Greater Warren County Drug Task Force.
Police have participated in the agency for about 12 years, according to Weyand, and employs a detective who works as a task force member.
That detective participates in the task force’s investigations in Wilmington and elsewhere. Meanwhile, other detectives will also work in Wilmington, and all participating agencies contribute in some way, Weyand said.
“It’s a win-win for us,” Weyand said. “The dilemma to doing drug work is that our agency can’t do it alone. We have to partner with others.”
Weyand said every participating agency contributes, making it possible for them to do more than they could alone.
“We get that (the detective’s time) back plus,” said President of Council aRandy Riley. “There are people in Wilmington who you’ll never know that work for us.”
The committee also recommended council adopt the revised EMA plan, which was reviewed by Wilmington Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker.
“There’s a lot of interesting information in here,” Shidaker said.
“The stuff that’s probably in the emergency plan would be what to do if you have a tornado here, or a tornado drill at the fairgrounds,” Weyand said.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.