The Jasper City Council has approved the purchase of new patrol vehicles and rifles for the Jasper Police Department, and has also passed an ordinance requiring a permit for certain types of vendors that sell goods within the city.

The council’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday began with an audit report from Shelby Lackey who told city leaders that the City of Jasper had a “Clean Opinion”, meaning that everything with the city’s finances are in order.

Council later heard from Jasper Police Chief Gerald Hall who said that two of the department’s five patrol vehicles were well over the 100,000 mile mark and needed to be replaced. He presented council with a quote from Lake Country Chevrolet for two new Chevrolet Tahoe patrol vehicles, fully equipped, for $99,444.80.

Hall also said that due to mass shootings that have recently occurred almost weekly in the United States, he wanted his officers to be prepared and armed with enough firepower in case such an event should happen here.

Hall explained that in addition to their sidearms, his officers carry in their patrol vehicles old shotguns which were donated to the department in the early 1990’s by the Texas Department of Public Safety, after they had been used by state troopers.

Hall said he wants his officers to be equipped with AR-15 rifles, and he presented a quote from Kelly Ballistics LLC in Silsbee for eight AR-15’s with several accessories for a total price of $5,520.00.

Council approved both requests.

In other action, council approved an ordinance requiring a permit for certain vendors who sell goods inside the city limits. It would not affect garage sales, farmers markets, or vendors selling goods at different festivals or events.

It would, however, affect those who bring in farm products or other goods from out of the area and then set up roadside stands. The cost of the permit will be $300.00 and it is obtainable from Jasper City Hall.

Broadcast journalist & on-air personality - Rayburn Broadcasting Company - KJAS 107.3 FM in Jasper, TX and KFAH 99.1 FM in Pineland, TX