MIDDLEPORT — Well-trained personnel and high tech equipment can make all the difference in the world to the efficiency of most any business today.
The Middleport Police Department is finding that true as they enter a new year with better trained officers and over $300,000 worth of new equipment. which includes 18 Homeland Defender meth suits, license plate readers and MARCS radios for police vehicles, metal detectors, and live scanning machines for the jail, which fingerprints, photographs, and provides background information on offenders — all at no cost to the village.
“It takes time, and sometimes it’s a slow complicated process,” said Middleport Mayor Mike Gerlach as he talked about how the village was able to get the free equipment, which all came through the Department of Homeland Security.
The mayor was quick to credit the police department’s leadership team and its dedicated officers for the progress shown since the move into Middleport’s new village hall and jail. He said that over the past year, the officers have had a combined total of 456 hours in additional training covering a wide range of areas.
Detective Rick Smith took 40 hours of crisis intervention training and another 40 hours in Opota instructor training; Lt. Chris Pitchford, Patrolman Shannon Smith, and Detective Smith completed eight hours of Search Narcotics Testing; Lt. Joel Lynch and Patrolman Shannon Smith , 40 hours of Methamphetamine Technician training; Lt. Pitchford, eight hours of CPR/AED instruction; and Scott Kimes, Alicia Dougherty, Mike Hupp, Matt Smith and Courtney Nitz, 48 hours of corrections training.
“This is bringing big dividends — not just to Middleport but to the whole county,” said Gerlach who commended the officers for their willingness to take the additional training which, along with all the new detection equipment, results in better protection for the citizens in this time of many potential hazards in communities.