2018-2019 proposed budget could bring big upgrades to Sulphur's Police and Fire Departments

2018-2019 proposed budget could bring big upgrades to Sulphur's Police and Fire Departments
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - The city of Sulphur will soon see a lot of changes. A new mayor, some new council members, and a new budget.

Five working police body cameras, that's what Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats says his officers are working, but that could soon change.

"What we have presented to the mayor, and to the finance director which has been presented to the council I think are needs," he said.

30 New body cameras, those are just one of the needs Coats is hoping to get if the proposed 2018-2019 city budget is approved.

The $24 million budget has over six million earmarked for the police department. That money will fund operating costs, salaries and benefits as well as new body cameras and a vehicle for Coats.

"We rotate the administration vehicles out, and one of the detectives will be inheriting my truck in replacement of me getting a new pickup truck," he said.

That money will also fund renovating the jail to keep juveniles and adults separate-- a requirement from new legislation taking effect in July.

One of the largest portions of the proposed budget will be for the fire department. A little over seven million will be for operating costs, salaries, and benefits, but they also plan to purchase new equipment, remodel one of their stations, and build a new one.

Over a year ago, mold was found at one of their stations which was later torn down. If this budget is approved money would be put aside for building a new station in that spot.

Fire Chief Dan Selph says the department's budget is high this year, because of equipment needed, but he expects those resources to last more than five years.

While these two departments are hopeful the council approves the budget in its entirety, Coats says if some things have to get cut he's okay with that.

"Some are immediate, and some...if they decide to strike them, that's okay we can live without them," he said.

The budget will be voted on at next Monday's city council meeting.

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