BANGOR – The Bangor City Council met Monday night to discuss bringing a powerful piece of equipment to the police department to help fight drug crimes.
The council approved $24,000 to purchase a state-of-the-art drug testing machine for the city.
Police Chief Mark Hathaway said currently the Maine DEA has one machine that covers a handful of the state’s largest counties,
Having their own machine makes it much easier for his officers. The goal is to bring speed and accuracy to testing, but also safety to the officers.
Councilor Ben Sprague said “A lot of substances that police officers come into contact with these days are pretty dangerous, and being in contact with them could risk their health, it could risk the investigation, so having a way to electronically test these substances, it smoothens out the police process and keeps them safe, so happy to have the funds.”
The money for the machine comes from the “State Drug Forfeiture Account,” which takes money seized in arrests and uses it to boost Maine’s drug fighting abilities.
In addition to the new machine, the council approved the receipt of $52,000 from the University of New England to help fight youth substance abuse in Penobscot and Piscatiquis Counties.