Serving the community since 1970

City to purchase body armor for cops

More steps were taken toward establishing the Wasco Police Department on Tuesday night at the regular City Council meeting. This time, it was the approval to purchase body armor for up to $29,000 and the approval of a Lexipol policy manual that establishes the policies for the WPD.

"Lexipol is the standard in the industry for police agencies, and it has been developed by a team of attorneys that constantly monitor and evaluate changing federal and state laws and their impact on police agencies," Chief Charlie Fivecoat explained.

He added that the manual is important because it provides professional guidance on the behaviors and activities of the Police Department "and ensures the constitutional behavior of the organization."

Regarding the purchase of body armor, a total of 25 sets are required for full-time and reserve officers at a cost of about $1,500 per individual.

Body armor and carriers (vests) are required to provide ballistic and edged weapon protection for law enforcement officers and code compliance employees.

Fivecoat said his team is ahead of schedule. "We've exceeded all of our initial recruitment expectations, and we've managed to nearly complete all of the logistics necessary to bring the Police Department closer to operational."

Also at the meeting, Wasco Rotary International Club members presented a service project to install a Rotary sign and four bilingual English/Spanish individual reflectorized aluminum road signs.

The signs sequentially present the Rotary 4-way test in bright white lettering over a blue background with a gold border.

The Rotary 4-way test is: 1) Is it the truth? 2) Is it fair to all concerned?

3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

In a staff report, City Manager Scott Hurlbert said the project was "a high-impact way to profile the Wasco Rotary International Club and provide a community service simultaneously."

The Wasco Rotary International Club is an organization with a mission to provide service to others, promote integrity and advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the fellowship of business, professional and community leaders. It is a nonpolitical and nonreligious organization.

Larry Pennell, former city manager and club member since 1994, including past president, said, "I think all of the members have noticed the signs that are in disrepair. As a service club, we thought it would be an ideal opportunity to offer the city and its residents a beautification project on one of our main entrances to the city."

"We are grateful that the council supports our beautification effort."

Councilmember Gilberto Reyna said, "The Wasco Rotary Club is a great service organization that supports many local causes and community events, such as the Independence Day fireworks show."

"I am pleased to vote yes on their plan to place the Rotary Wheel emblem and the 4-Way Test signs (a code of conduct everyone can live by) at our city's southern entrance."


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