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Sturtevant police officers will have new tools to better enable them to do their jobs thanks to some grant monies and a new partnership with the Racine Police Department.

Police Chief Sean Marschke told trustees earlier this month that his department will receive a $4,000 traffic safety grant from the state Department of Transportation earmarked for equipment.

“We will purchase wearable cameras for all officers to better record and preserve evidence from the stops and calls they encounter throughout their shift,” he said.

Additionally, officer overtime will be covered at 100 percent by a grant shared with the Mount Pleasant Police Department for intersection enforcement. Marschke said MPPD is the fiscal agent for the funds, and the goal of the grant is to reduce the number of drivers who run red lights, aren’t wearing seat belts and generally practicing unsafe habits.

“This is a regional and cooperative approach that we expect to work well,” he added.

SPD is now a part of Code Red with the Racine Police Department, which allows department leadership to communicate will all officers at the same time through an alert to their smart phone. Marschke compared Code Red to a reverse 911 system; instead of calls coming in, these calls go out to officers.

“This allows much faster communication throughout the department when the need arises,” he said.

The Village of Greendale uses the system, and says on the village’s website that Code Red, “can alert residents, businesses and visitors about potential emergency circumstances and rapidly notify specific geographical areas by telephone with minimal impact on emergency services personnel.”

Marschke said he anticipates in the near future opening up the Code Red system to village staff and the village board. Including residents could also be a possibility if grant money to fund the expansion becomes available.

In other news, the Sturtevant Police Commission will meet Wednesday to discuss potential candidates for the village’s police department.

Sturtevant currently utilizes a mix of full time and part time officers to patrol the village. Not only does that give the department more flexibility with staffing, part time staffing saves the village money because part time officers are only paid when they’re on-duty and they do not qualify for benefits.

Marschke introduced the idea to hire four part time officers the village board in 2012 as a creative way to maintain coverage after two officers – one full time and one part time – resigned earlier that year. Since then, one of those officers was hired on full time, but another has been on long-term medical leave.

Marschke confirmed for Racine County Eye that Commission members are only discussing options in case the officer on medical leave is unable to return to duty.

The police commission meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Village Hall, 2801 89th Street. Call (262) 886-7200.

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