Both the police and public will benefit from a decision by the Oneonta Common Council at its Tuesday meeting, Oneonta police Chief Dennis Nayor said Wednesday.
During the session the council approved the purchase of 14 tasers equipped with cameras, Mayor Dick Miller said. The cost was $28,000, City Manager Michael Long said. It required a budget transfer of $9,000.
The tasers have been used by sergeants for about two years and “they have proven very useful in some highly critical situations,” Nayor said.
Last fall its use prevented police from needing to use “lethal force” in a violent situation, he said. There have been three or four other incidents where they were engaged in the last two years and several other times when the threat of using one defused the situation, he said. Officers have already received training on the equipment. Having a camera attached will mean that every use will be documented so an officer can show what they were up against, if needed.
In other business, the Council approved a 12-month lease with the Oneonta Outlaws for use of Damaschke Field. Previously the team had leased it June -through-September for its baseball games.
This will allow the organization to be responsible for booking all attractions at the field, Miller said. It will guarantee the city a fee of $20,000 for the year, during the two year contract, That is $5,000 more than the city is currently receiving from all parties. This will not affect staffing at that city Recreation Department, Miller said. They will continue to be responsible for such tasks as keeping the field mowed. Recreation Director Steven Andrews said while details are still being worked out, its a “win-win,” for both sides.
Outlaws general manager Stephen Pindar said the change that resulted from a recent discussion with Miller represented “a good opportunity” that will continue the organization’s goal of providing “affordable family fun for all.”
Also at the meeting, Anthony DeDominicus was appointed firefighter to fill a vacancy at the department. The starting salary is $33,872 per year, Long said.