East Ridge city council approves the purchase of more police equ - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

East Ridge City Council approves purchase of new police equipment

Posted: Aug 09, 2018 10:33 PM Updated:
East Ridge Fire and Police Service Center. East Ridge Fire and Police Service Center.
EAST RIDGE, TN (WRCB) -

The East Ridge Police Department is making progress on getting officers the equipment needed to do their job.

Officers say it's been a long time coming, but they are excited about the future of the department.

Last month, a union that represents most officers with the East Ridge Police Department approached the city council about a lack of supplies.

Police Chief James Reed says at that time he had no idea the department needed any basic supplies. He wants to make a change.

“I'm taking effective action to get it corrected,” Chief Reed said. “Not knowing is part of the problem.”

Reed stood before the council to ask for about $200,000 worth of equipment.

“Tactical vests with the latest technology that's out there, and they'll have new helmets,” said Reed.

The department will also get new tasers, rifles and two new patrol cars.

Lt. Daniel Stephenson is a member of the police union and has been advocating for new gear.

“It's just a piece of equipment that's required and something that we are happy to have,” Lt. Daniel Stephenson said. “The other equipment is absolutely necessary. It was a good start.”

Chief Reed says he has already ordered some new cars with cameras. More items will be purchased during the next fiscal year.

“The better and up-to-date technology you have, the better that officer is going to be able to be effective,” said Reed.

East Ridge can make these purchases as soon as possible, but it will take some time to get every item in the rotation. Several East Ridge citizens, and Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd have appeared before the council and the County Commission to express their concerns about the equipment shortages.  Boyd said the situation should have never gotten to the point where he and the citizens had to get involved.

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