Some of the equipment woes of Harlem Department of Public Safety will be cured this month when it receives additional radios for its reserve officer program.
Thanks to a $2,310 donation by the Deputy J.D. Paugh Memorial Foundation, the department will be able to purchase three Kenwood NX200 portable radios, which come complete with lapel microphones, additional antennas and batteries, and service plans.
“We generally have enough radios for everybody, but we have a good bit of reserve officers and investigators who are coming on board,” Chief Gary Jones said. “We need to make sure that we have enough radios so we can ensure communication.”
Having recently started the reserve program, which currently fields five officers and two investigators, Jones said he knew he would run into trouble when it came to outfitting the officers.
“The reserve division wasn’t something that was budgeted for,” he said. “All we have to do is provide one uniform because they only have one day a week, so it didn’t cost us a lot of money to cover that. We had enough weapons and body armor to go around, so what we really came up short on was the technology aspect of the uniforms.”
Jones reached out to the Deputy J.D. Paugh Memorial Foundation after he said he heard about the foundation’s gift of $5,070 to purchase ARAS 360, an accident re-creation software program, to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
The foundation has spent more than $10,000 over the past two months on equipment and benevolent donations for law enforcement agencies in the area, said Michael Cardenaz, the foundation’s co-founder. It was started to honor Paugh, who was killed in the line of duty in 2011.
Since Jones operates a smaller agency on a smaller budget, Cardenaz said the two took the time to discuss what items the department needed most.
“We talked about several needs that they had, but probably the most critical need was with their reserve officer program,” he said. “Even though their salaries are free, the equipment and necessities they need isn’t free. Probably the most critical thing in an officer’s repertoire is communication with dispatch and other officers.”
Portable radios, Jones said, are critical to law enforcement officers. The department expects to receive the new radios, which will be ordered through a local vendor, in about a week, Jones said.