Jamestown Police, Fire Depts. Eyes New Upgrades

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – License plate readers and lifesaving equipment are on the horizon for Jamestown’s Police and Fire Departments as part of next year’s proposed budget.

The aforementioned is included in Mayor Eddie Sundquist’s 2023 executive budget, which is currently under review by City Council. 

In total, five license plate readers, which would be installed at major entrances to the municipality, come with a $90,000 dollar price tag.

“They’re stationary at the major points of entry and exits of the city, and that will allow us to investigate crimes that happened in the city where people sometimes, oftentimes, leave the city,“ stated Chief Tim Jackson. “Whether they go back to Buffalo or wherever.”  

While the equipment upgrades are important, an area of concern for Jamestown Police Chief Tim Jackson is salaries, this year the department is over budget, and the 2023 spending plan shows a decrease in allocated funding. This is especially a problem when it comes to New York State mandated roles like the city’s K9 handler. 

“I calculate that the amount will be $15,549 dollars,“ explained Chief Jackson. “And we were allocated $10,000 next year, so we’re going to exceed that.” 

The fire department meanwhile is mainly looking to acquire new emergency escape systems. The current gear is 12-years-old, and no longer works as intended. 

“Our current rope system is past its useful life,“ explained Chief Coon. “It’s a state law, it’s a NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) requirement that we have each active firefighter that’s engaged in fire suppression have a rope system available to them. In the event of an emergency where you’re in a tall building and you need to self-escape. So using this room (city hall) for an example, if a firefighter was in here and the building was on fire, and they became trapped, the only way they are going to get out is through the window. Going out the window is going to be certain severe injury or death if they get out there.”    

Chief Coon Holding Emergency Escape System.

The two departments also want to address vehicle quality, with both chiefs asking for additional funding to improve their respective fleets. 

This week, budgets for the Department of Development and the Fenton History Center are up for review. The Jamestown City Council has until December to pass a budget for next year. 


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