The City Council approved several resolutions in support of the development of the Wasco Police Department at their meeting Tuesday night.
A highlight was the approval to purchase five new Ford Utility Interceptor AWD police vehicles, including emergency lighting and upfitting equipment for slightly over $401,000.
The council additionally approved an agreement with American Business Machines to design, install and support an upgrade of the city security project for $367,386.
The current city surveillance system is over 10 years old. The manufacturer no longer supports the software and cameras. Several cameras have experienced degradation in image quality and reliability.
At present, the camera system operates and stores video footage on physical servers that are also obsolete. An updated video management system will provide a more secure and full-featured foundation for the city's surveillance infrastructure. A reliable and full-featured security surveillance system will be critical for the launch of the Wasco Police Department.
Finalizing and executing a construction agreement with Crosswhite Construction Inc. was also approved to remodel the new Police Department dispatch area, lobby and server room to accommodate the new 911 communications center and network infrastructure.
"It was a blessing for us to get all of that together. That is a critical piece of the infrastructure, and we really can't start providing services until all that infrastructure is in," Chief Charlie Fivecoat said.
The council also okayed a $4,400 purchase agreement with Dooley Enterprises for Police Department small arms ammunition to be used to train new police officers.
In other news, artist Art Sherwyn shared progress and an idea of what is being planned to re-do the downtown street landscape along 7th Street between G Street and Broadway.
In January 2022, the council approved a resolution authorizing a $5 million grant application to the Clean California Grant Program for this.
Part of the project includes public art installations in four locations (three pedestrian alleys and the open plaza).
The staff has worked with Sherwyn to select themes and art styles for each designated location. He has selected concepts and materials that will be unique and low maintenance over time.
"It's a big challenge, something new to me, but I certainly enjoyed the challenge," Sherwyn said.