Police Chief wants to use seized drug money to buy equipment

HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - City councilman in Hammond will decide at their Tuesday night meeting whether to allow the police department to use about $32,000 to buy new equipment, to handle large scale shooting situations. Taxpayers won't be footing the bill. Instead, the chief of police says the money is coming from drug dealers.

When the police department makes narcotics arrests or has seized drug money, the court awards that to the department, says Chief Roddy Devall.

"Probably 90 to 95 percent of all crime is drug related," Devall said. "We might get $100 here, $3,000 there, $10,000."

For years, that money has been sitting in a bank account, untouched. The police department is limited in what they can use the money for, but they need council approval.

Devall says after seeing so many school shootings, he wanted to use the $32,000 that's in the bank to prepare his department in case some ever happens in the Hammond community.

Right now, he says, officers carry one gun and about 45 rounds of ammunition. Devall says if something ever happened, his men and women would need to be ready. He says judging from what he's seen on the news, school shooters have much more than the police.

"They have 3-4-500 rounds. So one thing we're going to buy is additional clips for police officers and have them available."

The department also wants to buy specialty vests, giving officers more places to hold whatever they may need in an emergency situation.

In addition, the lieutenant and sergeants on each shift would have a bullet proof body shield, to keep in their cars. They would be used against a shooter or to protect someone in an active situation.

Devall hopes they never have to use any of it, but he'd rather be prepared.

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