Police seek to spend $500K for guns, trucks

LIHUE ­— The Kauai Police Department is looking to buy new trucks and guns and get federal funding to crack down on illegal drugs.

Two KPD officers are scheduled to appear before the Kauai County Council on Wednesday to explain three requests recently submitted by the department.

Assistant Chief Roy Asher will explain why police need to spend about a half a million dollars to replace the department’s handguns and buy new Ford Explorer patrol vehicles.

According to a memorandum submitted to the council last month, the new equipment will be paid for using funds already in the KPD’s budget, initially allocated for a retirement contribution account. Asher said the money is available because four officers unexpectedly resigned in the past several months.

The KPD memo spells out a “three-year strategic vehicle replacement plan,” which involves purchasing seven new patrol vehicles — for $65,000 each — a year for the next three years at an annual cost of $455,000.

The department plans to purchase the vehicles outright instead of paying a five-year lease, a measure the memo says will ultimately save the county more than $35,000, “making this the most fiscally responsible option.”

Asher will also brief the council on KPD plans to transition from the .40 caliber handgun used by its officers to a 9-millimeter model, a switch that, according to the memo, will save the department money and provide its officers with a more effective weapon.

“The cost of 9mm ammunition as compared to the cost of .40 caliber ammunition is cheaper, which will save KPD money over time,” the memo says.

Asher could not confirm exactly how much money the department can expect to save in ammunition costs or how long it will take for the savings to equal the overall price of the transition, but he will presumably have to answer similar questions during Wednesday’s council meeting.

Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce will brief the council on two requests related to about $200,000 in federal funding to be spent on the KPD’s illicit drug eradication efforts.

Ponce submitted his requests in writing via two memos to the council earlier this month.

The KPD is asking for approval to accept $142,000 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy “to support programs and initiatives through statewide mutual and joint efforts in narcotic enforcement.”

The federal funds are to be spent through the end of 2020 to “defray costs directly relating to the efforts of dismantling of drug trafficking organizations,” according to the memo.

The KPD has made use of this funding in years past to supplement the KPD’s drug enforcement budget by paying for overtime, specialized training, canine maintenance, and other services and equipment.

The KPD has also applied for $50,000 from the Drug Enforcement Administration to crack down on weed.

This funding is also applied for by the KPD on a regular basis and helps cover the cost of overtime paid to officers working to find and destroy “illicit cultivated marijuana.”

The DEA offers the funding to law enforcement agencies that cooperate with joint marijuana enforcement efforts. According to a letter of agreement between the KPD and the DEA, the money is awarded on the condition that Kauai police officers gather and report data related to weed growing operations, investigate instances of drug trafficking, make drug arrests and send samples of recovered weed to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The council meets at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Historic County Building.

  1. Major Lee Hung April 23, 2019 7:53 am Reply

    The new gun purchase will never save money, or at least not for years to come. Looking at an average of $0.08 difference in cost between each bullet and the cost of new guns at least being $550 plus additional magazines.

    1. Dt April 23, 2019 4:34 pm Reply

      I concur on the saving money by new guns. Where does all this ammo get spent with no gun ranges on Kauai?

  2. Joe Public April 23, 2019 11:32 am Reply

    Are the nuts? How can you be fiscally responsible when they transition from the 357 revolver, to the 40 cal smith and wesson, then the 40 cal Glock, and now they want to go to the 9 cal?

    This isnt fiscally responsible it is miss-management at it’s finest, again, connected to the name “Asher”

  3. TheyGet April 23, 2019 12:35 pm Reply

    They get a ridiculous clothing allowance of $6-7 thousand dollars a year. They can afford to buy their own service firearms. Who ok Kauai spends $6,000 to $7,000 annually for clothing? How in the wild Wild West of Kauai did thy negotiate that contract scheme like the good conduct pay scheme? Kpd also get $2-3 hr for good conduct and still they have to cheat the taxpayers with faux overtime. The min starting wage for a rookie is 66K a year so that amounts to almost $32 an hour. Why are some of them protecting drug dealers? I reported a heroin/meth dealer to them and the PA office and they rat me out and put a green light hit on me and told all their druggies to attack. Come on now Blue KPD you all haven’t Mahia’i learned?

    They get em and get you all fools played like bozos.

  4. CommonSenseish April 23, 2019 4:06 pm Reply

    New Guns? New Patrol Cars? What? Why?

  5. CommonSenseish April 23, 2019 4:10 pm Reply

    Instead of focusing your efforts on Weed, why don’t they focus their efforts on real criminals? Chief Raybuck is not local yeah? He can’t be in with the dirty cops already?!

  6. KimoKane April 23, 2019 4:47 pm Reply

    How much ammo do they use that switching would save money?

  7. Sheeples April 23, 2019 9:01 pm Reply

    I heard that some back to earth type hippies in my neighborhood went a few over their medical quota for plants and may be breaking the law. The police better get on that one. All the chronics stealing anything not bolted down is minor, they got their gear from uncles sisters brother protecting criminals, whatever….

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