The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5) was signed into law on Feb. 17, and local law enforcement agencies didn't waste time applying for the grant money that can be used for a broad range of uses.
Sgt. Dennis Archer is writing the grant for Brazil City Police and the Clay County Sheriff's departments.
"The departments will be able to split $18,887. The grant covers a broad sweeping category of items law enforcement can use the money for, which is a good thing for us," Archer said. "With our department shorthanded and operating with budget restrictions, we will potentially use our portion to support more man hours for the officers. That way we will be able to get more patrol officers on the streets, increase our ability to do more investigations and cover other necessities, like fuel and equipment, the department might encounter."
While the BCPD will be in charge of locally distributing the funds issued by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, Archer said each department would decide how use the money.
Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton has yet to establish definite plans for the grant money at this time, but he agreed with Archer about the need of increasing man-hours and drug investigations.
"Every department is struggling with budget issues right now," he said. "We will use the funding for a lot of the same things, although our department might use a portion to purchase more surveillance equipment."
Archer said the proposal is in its final stages of preparation.
"Now we need to get the public's input. This is an opportunity for local residents to comment on the grant process," Archer said, adding the community has until April 18 to participate. "I'm hoping that a day or two afterwards, I will be able to submit the final paperwork, although the grant deadline is May 18. We'll be done a couple of weeks early."
Those who wish to comment about the Brazil City Police Department may contact Sgt. Dennis Archer during normal business hours at the Brazil City Police Department at 446-2211. Those who wish to comment about the Clay County Sheriff's Department may call 446-2535 and leave a message at Ext. 5, Sheriff Mike Heaton will return the call.