MEXICO — The Police Department will get five new protective vests, with the $4,975 cost split between a grant and the town.
Police Chief Roy Hodsdon told selectmen last week that the department had a grant that had to be spent by Aug. 31. He said the current vests are five years old, which is their recommended lifespan.
“Basically, the grant will pay for half of whatever the cost of the vests are,” he said.
The vests from Armor Express are custom made to fit the officers and cost $995 each. The town’s share is $2,487.75.
Selectman Albert Aniel asked what would happen to the old vests.
“We usually distribute them to either reserves or put them in our spare vest panels . . . A lot of the time, Explorers will use them as ride-along vests,” he said.
The board unanimously approved the expenditure.
Town Manager John Madigan noted said the contingency grant reserve fund has $25,491, which could be used to pay the town’s share.
Hodsdon said he also applied for a $6,000 grant with no match for cameras for areas known for criminal mischief problems. “They’re wireless, so they’ll go right to our phones, so we’ll be alerted if there’s something going on.”
He also is seeking grants for portable radios and to replace old weapons, both without local matches, he said.
With Hodsdon was Brittany Gaudet, who is studying criminal justice at Husson University in Bangor. She is in her sixth year with the Mexico Explorers, serving as an adviser.
This summer, she’s has been interning with the Mexico Police Department.
“I should be able to take the reserve course in September,” she said.
Hodsdon noted, “Brittany has been working her tail off, taking classes, not taking breaks. She has her credits available through the college to be a reserve officer for us in December, if she chooses to do so, about a year earlier than most.”
“For doing all of that, I commend you, because that’s a lot of work,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Richie Philbrick said.
“She’s latched on to our new female officer, Caroline Casey. She’s kind of taking her under her wing . . .” Hodsdon said.
In other business, selectmen agreed that perhaps the best place to continue its effort on consolidating services with Mexico is recreation.
Selectman Mark Belanger suggested integrating the Parks Department and Public Works, then creating a Recreation Department and try to tie it in with Mexico’s Recreation Department.
“I just think a good, well-thought out plan for the future is something both towns should really try to do,” Madigan said.
Selectmen approved a bid from Knox Gravel for 3,500 cubic yards of winter sand at $9.50 per yard for a total of $33,250.
The board chose Fabian Oil of Jay to supply 23,800 gallons of heating oil at a pre-pay price of $1.809 per gallon, for a total of $43,054.20.