The Harker Heights Police Department introduced five items for consideration by the City Council at Tuesday’s meeting.
Police Chief Phil Gadd listed the following items to be considered:
1. Funding the purchase of a digital crime scene reconstruction diagramming station;
2. Participation in a grant program for the purchase of a drone unmanned aircraft system;
3. Participating in a grant program sponsored by the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation;
4. Consider participating in a Homeland Security grant for funding of the Crisis Response System for the Tactical and Negotiations Team;
5. Approval of funding for the Healthy Homes Program.
The council gave its approval to all five items, taking the following actions:
Approved authorizing the city’s participation in a grant program to purchase one Digital Crime Scene Reconstruction Diagramming Station.
Gadd said, “HHPD has unsuccessfully attempted to purchase this station for the past 10 years. The system allows the graphing of directory of travel in vehicle car crashes and trajectory of bullets at a crime scene.”
Approved authorizing the city’s participation in a Homeland Security Grant Program to fund the purchase of one drone. According to Gadd, extensive training is required to fly the drone, which is why the department plans to hire pilots to operate the aircraft. Guidelines would be written so governmental and privacy regulations are met in the deployment of the drone.
Authorized the city to participate in a grant program administered by the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. The funding would provide 31 individual first aid kits, five mass casualty kits (25 individual kits) and 25 vehicle individual first aid kits.
Authorized the city to participate in the Homeland Security Grants Division for funding of the Crisis Response System for the Tactical and Negotiations Team.
“This is a vital communication systems allowing our officers to get a phone inside a building in case hostages have been taken,” Gadd told the council.
“The system is a tool used to gather intelligence data and sharing features,” he said. “The work of SWAT and Hostage Negotiations teams will be enhanced as they respond to domestic disputes, high-risk warrants, robberies and hostage/barricade situations.”
Approved a resolution authorizing the city’s participation in the General Victim Assistance Direct Services Program Grant.
According to Gadd, this would fund certain improvements and additional services for the Healthy Homes Program that handles over 350 referrals per year. Part of that funding would be used for the new coordinator of the program, Angel Carroll.
In other business, council members authorized City Manager David Mitchell to sign a contract with Killeen ISD and Central Texas College to conduct a joint election for the May 4, 2019 municipal election, the KISD trustee election and the Central Texas trustee election.
The city of Harker Heights acquired 0.057 acres of additional right-of-way from the owners of the Colgate Addition for the construction of the roundabout at Commercial and Heights Drive.
Council members were asked to abandon a proposed 0.012-acre right-of way, which will help offset the 0.057 acres of additional right-of-way acquired for the roundabout.
The council Tuesday approved the ordinance that will abandon the public right-of-way dedication on the 0.012-acre tract without affecting the platted utility easement.
Also Tuesday, Finance Director Alberta Barrett announced the firm of Lott Vernon would be auditing the city’s financial report for fiscal year 2017-18.
The report will be sent to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) to determine eligibility to receive the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
Barrett said, “The city has received that award for the past 24 years.”
Dane Glegg of Lott, Vernon and Company, P.C. reported that the firm has certified that the financial statement is presented in conformity with standard accounting principals.
Also Tuesday, council members heard a summary of the 2018 report from the Planning & Zoning Commission, Building and Standards Commission and Planning and Development Department.