WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) - The Westlake Police Department received $64,000 in grants to update technology.
The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury provided $30,000, and Phillips 66 matched that and then some, giving $34,000.
Police Chief Chris Wilrye says that the department is grateful for the money to purchase new laptops and equipment for the units. He says officers typically spend a majority of their 12-hour shift in their units.
They love it." He says of the officers' reaction to the money. "They've never had anything like this. We have 15 new Dell laptops plus all the mounting devices and internet devices go in every one of our patrol cars. We purchased 15 total units. The officers are able to report out in the field, do crash reports out in the field, so their cars are now a mobile office. They can do everything from x,y, and z, in the patrol cars now."
According to Sergeant Jason Orourke, the officers couldn't file reports out in the field and would have to come back to the station or go to the library. "Our laptops that we had…they were old, outdated, and very slow. It took us a while to, we couldn't even fill out reports in our cars, the systems were so slow. These laptops that we got, we are able to do all of our work inside of our car. It's just, altogether, it's a great thing for the city of Westlake to get new things like this."
Police Juror for District 14 Hal McMillin, which covers Westlake, says that the money came from gaming funds which are given to each Police Juror based on the population of their district. The money they are given can be used at the juror's discretion, and McMillin says when he presented the money to the Westlake Police Department, they were grateful.
"They were excited, very excited." he says. "Anytime you can get a windfall of money to puts towards equipment that is going to better serve our public, it's tremendous excitement by the policemen, as well as a lot of people are very excited about it, because it's going to help protect our citizens in Southwest Louisiana. We've got a big influx of people coming here, of course, the high percentage of them are good people, but there's that criminal element out there, that you want to make sure that our law enforcement has the right equipment to protect the people of Southwest Louisiana."
Phillips 66 partnered with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury to provide $34,000 to the Westlake Police Department, and Megan Hartman, Public Relations Director for Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex, says that with their signature community grants, they were able to provide funds to the Westlake Police Department to help purchase the new technology.
"Phillips 66 is here in our community." says Hartman, "We've been here over 75 years, so we are a strong partner of the community and we live here too and so we want to enhance the safety of our community and all aspect of our quality of life here in Southwest Louisiana. Safety is truly our core value here at Phillips 66, and so this initiative falls perfectly in line with what we are about."
"By partnering up with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and also Phillips 66 we are able to bring our 1960 police department into the current century." says Chief Wilrye. "And with this, we will be able to keep our community safe."