On Wednesday night, the City Administration committee will be voting on whether to accept $100,000 in funding from the New York state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services grant.
The money would go to fund $82,000 in purchases of tactical equipment for the Ithaca Police Department, along with associated overtime costs for training on the new purchases.
There's a list of equipment IPD would purchase if Council accepts the grant in tonight's agenda. The list includes a "night vision helmet unit" at $13,000; a "self-contained breathing apparatus," or SCUBA, for $13,500; a $14,000 portable "mass notification system;" a $22,600 "throw phone" for hostage negotiations; along with allocations for ballistic hand-held shield, body armor, and spotting scopes.
Back in September 2014, over 100 people signed a petition protesting acceptance of a similar grant, which allowed the IPD to purchase a $41,000 tactical robot among other items.
Also on the agenda tonight is approving sending on a proposal to the state for a shared services grant, to look at combining IPD and the Tompkins County Sheriff's Office. Both the county legislature and council approved the spirit of that idea last fall.