The Conway City Council approved allocating funds to allow the police department to purchase new gear during its regularly scheduled meeting last week.
Chief Jody Spradlin said the Conway Police Department had leftover funds from a Homeland Security grant for the SWAT team it received last year. During the Jan. 23 meeting, Spradlin requested authority to use the remaining balance of the grant provided through the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) to purchase new gear.
"The money for this particular year's grant has already been received in a previous council meeting," Spradlin said during the council meeting. "We're requesting that $18,923.77, which is the remainder of that grant, be carried over to this year so we can spend that and close that grant year out."
The council voted 6-0 in favor of Spradlin's request, with aldermen Wesley Pruitt and Theodore Jones absent.
The money is not specifically earmarked at this point, CPD spokesman LaTresha said, noting the funds will be set aside in a fund for new gear to be used throughout the year.
The council also allocated funds to allow the police department to purchase 10 Tasers.
Spradlin brought an ordinance before the council asking to waive the competitive bidding process for the purchase of 10 Tasers through Taser International, noting the company is "the only manufacturer of controlled electronic weapons."
Aldermen voted 6-0 in favor of waiving the bidding requirements to allow CPD to purchase 10 Tasers, along with cartridges, holsters and batteries at $25,161.
One last agenda item regarding new gear for Conway police was a second request to waive the competitive bidding process, this time for the purchase of concealment vests through Teeco Safety.
"[This is] another sole source ordinance that we do every year," Spradlin said. "[We've] done business with Teeco Safety for several years. We'd like to stick with the Point Blank brand vest. We'll be purchasing 23 of them this year."
Aldermen voted 6-0 in favor of waiving bidding procedures to allow the police department to purchase the vests from Teeco Safety.