Tasers, radios for Waupaca police
Patrol officers to receive new equipment
By Angie Landsverk
The city of Waupaca is buying eight tasers for its police department so all members of the patrol staff have them.
The common council unanimously approved the purchase when it met on Aug. 18.
Steve Hackett and Mary Phair were absent.
“Right now, we have seven Tasers shared amongst the patrol staff,” Police Chief Brian Hoelzel said.
During the past few months, there were times the whole department was brought in, he explained.
At recent events, some people approached city officers and asked them where their Tasers were, Hoelzel said.
If officers said they did not have one, those people commented that they guessed the officers would have to use deadly force on them then, he told the council.
Hoelzel said that resulted in the discussion to purchase additional Tasers for the department.
It is so each officer is able to deal with situations properly, he said.
Prior to that explanation, Ald. Alan Kjelland asked Hoezel if the officers have had to use Tasers very much.
“Yes. We have,” Hoelzel responded.
He said a taser is a less lethal weapon for law enforcement.
“It can reduce injury not only to the officer but also the suspect who is becoming disruptive,” Hoelzel said.
He talked to Finance Director Kathy Kasza, Mayor Brian Smith and City Administrator Aaron Jenson about the request for more Tasers.
The department typically purchases Tasers from within the operating budget.
The eight Tasers approved by the council are being funded through this year’s capital improvements borrow.
The city is buying them from Axon, of Scottsdale, Arizona, at a cost not to exceed $12,359.44.
The city is also purchasing new portable radios for the department.
Hoelzel said half of the radios the officers currently use are out of date.
The radios also do not have the same technology as most of the department’s current ones, he said.
The council voted to purchase the portable radios from Northway Communications, of Wausau, at a cost not to exceed $27,356.57.
That quote was one of three the city received.
The quote from Northway Communications was $198.57 higher than the lowest quote of $27,158 from DSC Communications, of Superior.
Hoelzel recommended purchasing the radios from Northway Communications.
He said it is the department’s current vendor and noted the company also handles the radio system for the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office.
“My recommendation is to stay with Northway as they currently service all our other portable radios as well as squad radios. Northway is also somewhat local and stops at the police department to pick up radios that need service,” Hoelzel wrote in a memo to the council.
Noting the times the last couple months the department had to use all its officers, the mayor said he believes it is important to upgrade the equipment so all the officers have Tasers and updated radios.