A 2004 sales tax is paying dividends for local law enforcement, city officials said.
More than 50 new firearms as well as seven new police vehicle have been added to the police department using funds that were approved by voters 2004.
The so-called PEST fund, which stands for Public Employees Sales Tax fund, helped pay for 50 new Glock handguns that will be used by the officers.
The purchase was part of an agreement with the city’s Fraternal Order of Police.
Officials said the purchase will standardize the type of firearms officers use, and will provide cost savings in the long run because it also standardizes the type of ammunition that is used.
Previously, officers provided their own firearms.
Maj. Mitch Hoskins said officers already are training with the new weapons.
Meanwhile, the department also purchased seven Chevrolet Tahoes that will replace police units that, in some cases, had more than 200,000 miles on them.
“Some officers were driving 2008 patrol cars with close to 200,000 miles on them,” Hoskins said. “The older patrol cars were needing more frequent repairs and maintenance.”
The old units are expected to be taken out of service and will be sold by the city during a future surplus auction.
Hoskins said officers will go through a pursuit driving refresher course in August to familiarize themselves with how the vehicles handle.
“Better equipped vehicles and officers with the latest law enforcement technology leads to better police services for the citizens of Yukon,” said Hoskins. “We are thankful that we can afford this much-needed equipment.”
Voters approved the Public Employees Sales Tax in 2004. It is ¾ of 1 percent tax. Last year, the tax raised more than $3.8 million and was used to help fund the police and fire departments.