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DANA POINT : City OKs Spending for Police Equipment

The City Council has approved spending $10,887 for police equipment such as portable radios, cellular telephones, binoculars and cameras.

The money is from asset forfeiture funds the city received by participating in the Regional Narcotics Suppression Program. The council voted 3 to 2 Tuesday to approve the expenditure.

Council members Toni Gallagher and Harold R. Kaufman were opposed, saying the cellular telephones would create ongoing expenses that won’t be covered by asset forfeiture funds next year when the city no longer is participating in the program.

More than $5,000 of Tuesday’s expenditure was for estimated service bills for the two cellular telephones. Kaufman proposed that officers use police radios instead.

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But Sheriff’s Lt. Paul Ratchford, the city’s chief of police services, said that radio frequencies can be easily monitored by criminals, making the cellular telephones a better way for officers to communicate on sensitive calls.

Ratchford also said that cellular telephones are invaluable during floods and severe rains when radio systems can be prone to problems.


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