Four new police cruisers set to be outfitted

by Dan Holland

May 2 city council meeting

Broadview Heights City Council members approved the installation of equipment in four new Ford Explorer police cruisers by Hall Public Safety Upfitters at a cost of $16,280. The equipment was approved for purchase from Fallsway Equipment Co. in February. Council also approved a separate resolution to equip all four cruisers with new touchscreen laptops purchased from Chagrin Valley Dispatch at a cost of $11,000.

“They’re installing everything we purchased: the light bars, the radio boxes, the radios themselves and all the other equipment,” said Police Chief Steven Raiff following the meeting. “We purchase all of the equipment and we then have to pay to have them install it. We strip out the cars, clean them and they put all the equipment in.”

Raiff said the department normally buys new police cruisers approximately every four years based on mileage and condition, at which time they are updated on all equipment needs. New laptops help streamline a number of functions that can now be performed through the mobile data terminals (MDTs) while on patrol, he added.

“My plan is that hopefully every time we buy new cruisers, we then can also buy new laptops for them,” said Raiff. “After three or four years, they’re pretty antiquated. We just keep needing more and more out of the technology.”

Raiff said the department will now be using the mobile data terminals to issue traffic tickets.

 “We just went away from handwriting tickets; we can actually push them from our records electronically to the clerk of courts now,” he added. “We can run license plates and driver’s licenses, and our guys can actually type reports on them.”

Raiff added that video captures on the eight license plate reader cameras recently installed around the city can be pulled up in live time through the MDTs.

Ballot language wording

Fire Chief Jeffrey Hajek said during his report that conversations had been brought up on social media regarding the word “renewal” being added to the language of Issue 4, a charter amendment on the May 3 ballot calling for a renewal and increase from the current 4.2-mill levy to fund fire and EMS services to a rate not to exceed 5.8 mills to fund a proposed fire station and headquarters to be built on the city’s campus.

Hajek read portions of an email on the matter sent from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, stating: “Per our discussion, political subdivisions often provide suggested ballot language for issues they submit to the ballot. Ultimately, it is the board of elections’ duty to create ballot language that is fair, accurate and transparent.”

“I don’t want to beat around the bush; it was me – I asked the question on who added the word ‘renewal,’” Councilmember Joe Price said to Hajek. “Did you find out who the person was who added the word ‘renewal?’”

“It was the board of elections,” replied Hajek. “I wasn’t pointing fingers at anyone; I just said there was information out there. I wasn’t being rude by not saying your name. They [the Board of Elections] changed the wording.”

“I just want everyone to understand that I was just trying to find out who added the word ‘renewal,’” said Price. “That was the question from the beginning. Questions were asked of [city finance director] Pfaff over and over on whether the 4.2 mills will stay in place. And the answer was ‘yes.’”

“The board of elections added the word ‘renewal,’ because they said it renews,” Hajek said following the meeting. “So, it wasn’t that we added it or somebody added it later. They sent a letter, so we know that they did it; not somebody else. It does renew the 4.2 mills, so the word has to be in there. But they said it has to be in there.”

In other action, council:

  • Passed a resolution authorizing the service department to advertise for bids for the city’s 2022 street striping program.
  • Passed two separate ordinances to levy special assessments for street lighting in a number of residential subdivisions in the city. ∞