The city is set to use money seized from criminals to try to catch or deter more of them.
An item set to be approved at Monday’s city commission meeting would authorize using $109,490 of seized money. The city would use $90,000 for police overtime and the remaining $19,489 to replace the department’s aging bicycle fleet with 12 new police bicycles and accessories.
The idea is to have higher police presence and visibility in neighborhoods that asked for it, Capt. David Bernhardt said Friday.
He said police are acting following a series of community meetings as well as research on crime patterns.
And, Bernhardt said, “we like them on bicycles.”
The 12 bikes, which cost $1,100 each, are designed for police work. They will replace bikes that are more than a decade old, Bernhardt said.
“They’re beaten to death,” he said of the old bicycles. “They don’t even make some of the parts for them any more.”
The expenditure also includes 50 $31 bicycle helmets, eight $325 headlights, eight $59 tail lights, 29 $12 inner tubes and six $38 tires.
“This purchase will enable officers to patrol large areas in a stealth manner while attempting to address crime trends in their assigned areas,” the memo said. “The bicycles can also be utilized for high visibility patrols and afford a much higher degree of interaction between the officers and the public.”
Under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act (Florida Statute 932.701), law enforcement agencies may seize money, weapons, vehicles, boats, real estate or other property if it can be determined that the vehicle or other asset was used in connection with the illegal activity.
Bernhardt said the department previously used seized money to buy Segways, the motorized 2-wheeled, stand-up vehicles that police and security guards can be seen using in shopping centers.
The new expenditures will leave the city with $255,807 in seized cash.