by David Croyle
The Ford City Police Department has new equipment to fight crime because of a donation by the Ford City Eagles.
In early November, the police were given $3,000 to purchase new taser guns.
Eagles President Chris Trego said the money given to the Ford City Police Department was not the only local contribution the organization has made this year.
“We also gave $3,000 to Manor (Township Police) for their new radio systems, where they can check up on driver’s licenses faster and check the BOLO alerts. We have been supporting the police with many local projects over the years. They had a transmission problem a few years ago and we paid for it – took care of it completely,” Trego said.
Mayor Jeff Cogley congratulated the club on its contributions to the community.
“We are very appreciative for the support that they have (given), not only for the police department but for everything they do in the community. They do a lot of good things,” Cogley said.
In 2015, the Ford City Eagles gave away $63,000 to mostly local organizations.
Most of the money collected by the Ford City Eagles comes through small games of chance.
“Keep in mind that with the gaming money, we have to give away 60% of what we take in,” Trego explained.
Officer Jon Freel said the tasers are capable of reaching the offender up to 25 feet away.
“If someone is a danger to themselves, or is not being compliant to an officer’s orders, there are multiple scenarios of when you would deploy a taser,” Freel said.
He said all the officers, including new part-time policemen, undergo a training process in taser operation as well as the emotional/psychological component of when to deploy it.
Cogley said the new arsenal is the beginning of stepping up law enforcement in Ford City and had a message for would-be criminals:
“You may come to Ford City and you may get away with something today, but we are proactive and we are going to send a message. We are not out there being forceful with anybody, but we are going to be proactive policing. We are going to be community-oriented, and protect our citizens.”
Trego said the Ford City Eagles invite non-profit organizations to send a letter outlining their project. If it is a project that will benefit the community, the request will be considered by their Board of Directors.