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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

New look, equipment for Thayer Police

Thursday, March 8, 2007

NEW UNIFORMS: Officers with the Thayer Police Department are sporting new uniforms for the first time in 20 years.
Officers with the Thayer Police Department have been busy the past few months doing more than arresting criminals and keeping the peace.

They have been upgrading equipment and uniforms.

Thayer Police Chief Frank Bernard took over the duties of police chief the first of the year after the retirement of Chief Gene Hatman. Hatman served as police chief for 17 years.

Hatman was instrumental in the department receiving a 2004 Crown Victoria police car purchased with a USDA grant. The remaining upgrades have been made since the first of this year.

There are seven full-time officers on the police force and three reserve officers. Brenda Todd and Jason Romine serve as dispatchers with some of the road officers filling that position from time to time.

"Our officers have not had new uniforms since Lawrence Lowther was police chief some 20 years ago," Bernard said.

All officers are now sporting new gray uniforms. The shirts are gray and the pants are black with a gray stripe.

"These will not be as hot as the solid black uniforms were," the chief said. He added that the uniforms will make the officers more visible during traffic stops and are more professional looking. The uniforms were ordered from the Quartermaster Company in California.

A safety item purchased with another USDA grant is prisoner restraint systems, or security screens for all six patrol cars.

"This is something the department has needed for sometime," he said. He said the new system will provide safety for officers transporting prisoners. "When transporting prisoners there is always the possibility that they can break free and assault the officer that is driving," the chief said. He said in the past the police department has had prisoners assault officers, break windows, windshields and dash boards. The restraint system fits between the driver and passenger portions of the patrol car. "It is hard to drive a vehicle 50 mph when you're being assaulted," he said.

The systems were purchased from the Ed Rhor Company in St. Louis.

New safety devise purchased are video cameras for the patrol cars. They were bought from the Martell Electric Company in California, also with a USDA grant.

"The new cameras will be used as evidence during traffic stops. They come complete with a remote control that will pick-up conversations between subjects and officers. They will be used in DWI stops and other cases," Bernard said.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety supplied the police department with a grant to purchase new light bars and siren systems for the patrol cars. "This again is a safety feature that was needed on our cars. It will provide better lighting during traffic stops," he said. The light bars and sirens were purchased from the Galls Company in Lexington, Ky.

"Having more professional equipment and uniforms will help our officers better serve our community, and the new safety equipment will provide not only a better work environment but added safety for the officers," Bernard said.

The police chief said he received 100 percent support from the city in upgrading both the equipment and uniforms. "We greatly appreciate the work done at city hall on the grants that made the new equipment and uniforms possible," Bernard said.

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