Thursday night, 31 residents and one property owner unanimously approved a $68,000 appropriation from the general fund for the .
The vehicle, being purchased used from the Lancaster County Police Department in Kentucky, would act as a mobile office for Brookfield police and firefighters during emergency or disaster situations or during prolonged outdoor investigations, such as a fatal car accident.
“This is something that we have been looking at for as long as I have been chief here,” said Police Chief Robin Montgomery, in his 12th year as head of , “This is not something that just all of the sudden surfaced.”
The department had found appropriate vehicles in the past, however they “priced out at $150-$170,000 and it did not make the cut given budget issues,” Montgomery explained. “Board of Finance member Phil Kurtz came to the office, spoke with [Maj.] Jay [Purcell] at length and had found a vehicle for one-third the cost that we had looked at in the budget process.”
Purcell said a mechanic inspected the vehicle while nearby the area last week and, though it is used, he expects it will last at least 10 years.
“That comes out to $6,800 a year,” Purcell said. “That will be more economical than the individual patrol cars we use today,” which cost about $27,000 and are used for three years, working out to $9,000 a year.
The police department will be the primary agency using the command center, however it “will be used by Brookfield emergency services in total,” Purcell said, depending on where it is needed and which emergency service is running point.
“It would be a major asset to the town,” Brookfield Fire Department Chief David Martone said. “It will be equipment that will protect the town and help the town’s people.”
With the approval of the town meeting, the police department can move forward with the purchase. If the vehicle is in town and prepared in time, Purcell said it will be available for tours at the fire department’s , June 3 at the firehouse on Pocono Road.