By Jean Cole
Athens city leaders gave the gift of light to the Athens Police Department this Christmas.
City Council members approved the purchase of about 40 gun-mounted flashlights for Athens Police Officers at a cost of $3,960.
Each tiny Streamlight Inc. TLR-1 flashlight attaches to a handgun, freeing the officer from having to hold both a gun and a flashlight while searching for suspects or anything else that roams in the night.
Using a bright blue rubber gun that looks just like the sidearm each officer carries, Police Chief Floyd Johnson demonstrated the flashlight for council members during their regular meeting Monday.
The company that sells the flashlights describes them as “intensely bright, virtually indestructible tactical light that attaches to or detaches from almost any gun in seconds.”
Johnson said the departments HEAT officers — or High-risk Entry and Arrest officers — were already using the lights and found them very useful, so he decided to try to obtain one for each of the departments 46 full-time and two part-time officers.
“I think it will really help in searching dark buildings,” Johnson said. “For so many years, we have had to hold flashlights.”
He said that can be difficult when an officer is trying to maneuver, climb, brace or balance himself or herself.
In other business Monday, council members took the following action:
• Held a public hearing on the sale of alcohol for the new owners of Samurai’s Steakhouse;
• Voted 5-0 to rezone property located at 1313 E. Elm St. from agricultural to neighborhood business district for John Gibson and Anik Patel.
• Approved the purchase of a dump truck for the Public Works Department.
• Voted 5-0 on the following:
• To approve a resolution to affirm a plan for the Future Land Use and Development Plan;
• To approve an ordinance to amend Chapter 22 of the Code of Ordinances concerning the regulation and administration of city cemeteries;
• To approve an ordinance establishing excess capacity interruptible water service;
• To amend the Water Department budget for the purchase of an equipment trailer;
• To revise the Gas Department organizational chart;
• To lease property for storage for a water and sewer project;
• To award contract for Athens water treatment plant improvements;
• To approve a water line on Everett Lane;
• To approve fiscal 2013 budget amendments.
See Friday’s edition of The News Courier for more on the water treatment plant and budget amendments.