BPD enhancing resources and equipment

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The Blytheville Police Department is on a mission to step up its resources.

According to Police Chief Ross Thompson, they're in the planning stages of forming a Major Case Team.

Thompson said the team would consist of two members from each patrol shift, Criminal Investigation Division, and Drug Task Force, which he says will help give the police department some resources to fall back on.

Thompson said their overall goal is to be more proactive when it comes to major cases in Blytheville.

"The biggest part of it is beginning to incorporate the patrol officers into some of this," he said. "We would like to take those officers from that shift that are going to be on this team and give them some additional training in crime scene processing, interviews and interrogations and stuff. And the thing is when they're not working with a major case team, they'll actually still be on that shift still using some of those skills that we just taught them to help even on a smaller scene."

Thompson said the Major Case Team will also help Blytheville's new crime stoppers program.

However, Thompson said they plan to do a standard operating procedure before they begin a major case team.

Also, BPD is working on upgrading their firearms and bullet proof vests.

Thompson said their handguns are 10-years-old and have a lot of service on them.

Also, the warranty on their bullet proof vest is up.

After 5 years, the vests are no longer guaranteed its ballistic protection.

BPD tried to apply for a grant with the United States Department of Justice, but were unable to file a grant due to technical issues with DOJ's website.

However, Thompson said the situation is not going to stop them from getting proper equipment.

"Different makes and models of the handguns we'll be doing an evaluation on that," he said. "I'll be calling on officers to go out and fill out some evaluation forms; and we'll make a decision on the make, the model, the caliber and all of that stuff later on."

Thompson said they plan to have their firearms and bullet proof vests upgraded by 2018.

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