Salem has received a mobile emergency decontamination shower (MEDS) and command unit trailer, Salem Police Chief Al Roork told the Salem City Council March 25.
Roork said the unit was acquired with a HazMat grant. The price of the unit was $61,000 and it's the only unit of its kind in Arkansas, he said.
The unit has a decontamination shower, capable of washing off toxic chemicals from individuals in the event of an emergency. It can be mobilized anywhere in the county and has a command center to use if an emergency ever closed the police station.
The grant had to be used for homeland security purposes, Roork said.
Roork asked the council to equip two new volunteer policeman. Roork said Heath Everett and David Keck were in police school and need uniforms, badges and guns before they can assist the police department.
Roork said the cost of outfitting the officers would be around $2,000 and he didn't have the money in his budget. He said the city was going to receive a federal law enforcement grant in the future but he didn't know how much money was in the grant and when the city would receive it.
He asked the council to divert funds from the car fund to cover the cost.
Mayor Gary Clayton said it would be difficult to divert funds out of the car fund because it was established by city council ordinance. He told Roork to let his budget run over until the law enforcement grant arrives.
Roork said if the city couldn't afford to outfit the officers, he could manage without them but it would be difficult. He said the city has only three full-time officers and Everett and Keck would serve the city for free.
Two new firetrucks would be arriving soon, said Roork. He asked the council if the fire department could sell one of the old trucks. The council agreed and bids on the older truck will be taken soon.