The New Bern Board of Aldermen amended the budget to borrow $40,553 for the purchase of 10 radios for police department vehicles.
The money will be used to purchase radios for eight police cars and two police motorcycles.
On June 10, aldermen adopted the 2014-15 budget, which included $761,355 for 20 police vehicles. According to a memo from Police Chief Toussaint Summers to city staff, the cost of the radios needed for those vehicles was inadvertently omitted from the adopted budget.
Mark Stephens, city manager, said the police department was running into problems with transitioning the old radios into the newer vehicles.
Summers said in his memo to the city finance director that the transfer of radios from the older police vehicles to the newer replacements caused significant down time.
"The down time of a patrol vehicle for removal and installation of equipment could result in days/weeks," Summers said. "Installing used radios in newer vehicles saves money for the department now, however, the upkeep and maintenance for older equipment will eventually surface. Buying new radios will allow for equipment with a longer life span and eliminate the need for future mass purchases."
The police department has three motorcycles and none of them are equipped with radios. The department was asking for two motorcycle radios at a cost of $12,464.98, or $6,232.42 per unit. Eight radios for the police cars will cost $28,087.92, or $3,510.99 per unit, according to Summers' memo.