JAY — Selectpersons authorized the police chief Monday to get at least three bids for a new cruiser.

They also voted to allow him to use money from the forfeiture reserve account to pay for past laboratory testing of drugs seized.

Chief Richard Caton IV asked the board if he could start the bidding process to replace a 2016 Ford Interceptor SUV that has 177,745 miles on it.

The department had the motor replaced in it and has been driven 40,000 miles since then, he said. The cruiser has been in the shop quite a bit.

Other cruisers in the fleet are a 2006 Ford Explorer with 90,000 miles; a 2013 Ford Expedition that has 99,171 miles; and a 2014 Ford Interceptor that has 136,180 miles. The chief uses the latter.

Caton wants to trade in the 2016 Ford Interceptor SUV and buy a 2019 Ford Interceptor SUV.

The current balance in the Police Department’s capital reserve account is $54,833. The account was established for vehicle and computer purchases.

Caton also told the board the department received a bill for $3,000 for laboratory testing of drugs seized. They have not gotten a bill in about three years because it was sent to 300 Main St., he said. The department is located at 340 Main St.

The courts are mandating anything that is suspected to be heroin or cocaine be laboratory tested. It is about $120 per test, he said.

Some judges grant requests for restitution to police departments for drug testing in cases, while others say it is the cost of doing business.

They do not have the money in the budget to pay the bill, he said.

Caton asked to use money from the forfeiture reserve account, which has  $3,793 in it to cover the expense and to put $300 of it in petty cash. The department uses the money in petty cash in case it needs funds for criminal activity such as buying drugs. 

The forfeiture reserve account was set up in 2014 for drug forfeiture money.

Caton said he would like to put in a new line in the 2019-20 budget for about $1,500 to cover the cost of future drug testing.

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