Home Ventilation system New lockers for Middletown police funded by COVID-19 relief money

New lockers for Middletown police funded by COVID-19 relief money

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Paul Lolli, fire chief and acting city manager, said the money for the locker room renovations would come from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The locker room renovations will allow for social distancing and provide an overall more hygienic environment for the city’s police force, according to city documents.

Here are the other three bids: Wise Construction Co., Dayton, $444,000; Leo J. Brielmaier Co., Cincinnati, $477,900; and K&T Construction and Supply Inc., Franklin, $494,800.

Due to the small size of the lockers in the Middletown Police Division locker room, some officers store equipment above their lockers. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Due to the small size of the lockers in the Middletown Police Division locker room, some officers store equipment above their lockers. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Crank, a 27-year veteran in the force, said some of the walls would be knocked down to make way for more than 90 lockers and several showers.

During a shift change, Crank described the crowded locker area as working on a submarine.

“You always pass each other,” he said. “It’s time to replace them.”

The police department is also receiving 26 Flock Cameras license plate readers for city intersections.

Flock Safety has built the first public safety operation system that helps neighborhoods, businesses and city law enforcement work together to reduce crime, according to Middletown Police Chief David Birk.

He said the cameras capture objective evidence and use machine learning to create and provide unbiased investigative leads to law enforcement. Flock Safety is a cloud-based software system that has been shown to reduce crime in some areas by up to 70%, according to city documents.

Birk said a large percentage of crimes occur with vehicle involvement, so obtaining a vehicle license plate is often the best evidence to help solve the crime. He said the cameras give officers the first investigative lead to help alerts when vehicles involved in criminal activity pass through a Flock camera.

For many serious violent crimes, a description of the vehicle is given, but no license plate. This information can be put into the herd’s security system and allows the officer to pick up any vehicles making the description that have passed through a camera.

Birk said similar cameras are in use in Franklin, Springboro, Dayton, Vandalia and Troy, and many Butler County police departments are considering purchasing the cameras.

The total cost for the first year with installation fees will be $74,100, depending on the city. Funds for the first years will be provided as follows: $49,100 from the general fund and $25,000 from the computer replacement fund.

The police department received a $33,000 grant to purchase 12 Flock license plate reader cameras for one year. Once the funds have been received, the City will be reimbursed for this expense through a transfer of appropriations which will be approved by Council.

Flock security cameras have an annual fee of $2,500 for each camera and with 26 cameras covering the entry and exit routes in Middletown, the annual fee would be $65,000.