FARMINGTON — Selectmen accepted funds from two grants Tuesday night to purchase a Use of Force training simulator and additional simulator equipment for the Police Department.

Replacement of the fence separating the department and Davco was also approved.

A $23,759.61 Department of Homeland Security grant, administered through Maine Emergency Management Agency, would purchase the training simulator. A $2,558 Byrne/Jag grant, administered through the Maine Department of Public Safety, would provide additional equipment for it.

Police Chief Jack Peck said the video simulator features up to 600 different scenarios. A scenario can change depending on how the officer reacts during the simulation.

Peck said eventually he wants to open the simulator to the public to see some of the things his officers face and are trained to handle. He plans to use it for the Citizen Police Academy.

Selectman Matthew Smith said it could be eye-opening for officers.

Selectman Chairman Joshua Bell asked if there would be annual costs.

Peck said there would be a set fee equal to 10% of the original cost, or $2,300 per year. The simulator can be built upon. Upgrades and new software might be needed.

“This the smallest model. One costs more than $200,000,” he said. “I want to get our feet wet. I would like to build on it.”

Selectmen also voted to spend $5,514 from the building reserve account to replace the 8-foot cedar stockade fence separating the Police Department and Davco.

Town Manager Richard Davis said the fence is rotting, falling down and not very attractive.

Peck said ADA Fence Co., which submitted the lowest bid, will also take down and remove the existing fence.

There is $21,500 in the reserve account.

“We’ve tried to mend the fence, been ‘piecemealing’ it the last couple of years,” Peck said. “It’s our fence, our responsibility. It’s time to replace it. I’d like to get it done before snow flies.”

All Around Fence Co. submitted a bid of $7,687 and Allen Farm Fence Co. a bid of $7,215.

In other matters, Selectmen appointed J. Wayne Kinney as an interim Regional School Unit 9 director. Kinney will fill the seat being vacated next month by Iris Silverstein when she moves to Portland. A replacement to fill the remainder of the term will be elected in March. That person would start in July.

Davis said Kinney had done due diligence and met with Silverstein.

Kinney said he had met with Superintendent Tina Meserve and a couple board members from other towns.

“I would be the interim, just learn as much as I can, be helpful,” he said.

Kinney said he would decide later if he would seek election during the March annual town meeting.

 

 

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