by Pilar Pedraza
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
8:59 PM CST, January 6, 2013
"He came and said, 'People have been nice to me in my life and I want to return it,'" said attorney James Hargrove about a recent gift one Andover man left in his will.
The Andover Police Department gets some high-tech gadgets because officers were nice to the right person. One man leaves nearly $60,000 to the Andover Police and Fire Departments in his will.
"I had the pleasure, and it is a pleasure, of distributing over $200,000 to the Andover Fire department, Police Department, the United Way of the Plains, the American Lung Association and Heartspring," said Hargrove.
When the letter came that someone had left thousands of dollars to his department the first question the chief had was "Who?"
The answer was Charles Leroy Tipton, a man officers had helped several times during emergency medical calls to his home. He'd even once told them about his plans.
"As they were helping him, assisting him, outside the house, into the ambulance, he had told the officer, one of the officers on the scene," said Andover Police Chief Michael Keller. "He had told him that, 'I'm going to leave you in my will,' and, you know, we didn't think much of it at the time."
Now the department can buy something it's wanted for more than two years. Twenty body cameras, worn as part of the officer's uniform, similar to the car cameras already in use.
"They are in the car and if an incident occurs inside of a house or inside of a building the cameras aren't going to pick that up," said Keller about the car cameras, explaining why the department wanted to add the body cameras.
The video cameras themselves are about the size of a smartphone. The department is still trying to figure out exactly where the officer would wear the camera on the uniform. But the idea is, wherever the officer goes, there goes the camera.
"Because of budgets we were looking at some cameras that were a little less expensive." said Keller. "This will afford us the opportunity to provide better equipment for our officers and state of the art equipment."
Something Tipton would have liked in his attorney Jim Hargrove's opinion. He says Tipton just wanted to do something nice for those who'd been nice to him.
"It's remarkable that people do do that," said Hargrove, who hopes more people follow Tipton's lead when making out their wills.
The Andover Fire Department used part of its inheritance to buy several automated external defibrillators.
Any leftover funds from both departments will be donated to the Andover Police and Fire Foundation to be held for the eventual replacement of the city's two police dogs.
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