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Grosse Pointe City

April 17, 2013

City gets federal grant for public safety equipment

By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Federal funds are expected to give the City’s Public Safety Department some new high-tech equipment they otherwise likely wouldn’t be able to purchase.
The City will be receiving $6,390 for wearable video cameras, which can be used by officers on patrol to record interactions with the public.

“Obviously, it will be an officer safety enhancement, as well as a liability reduction for the department,” Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni said.

The total cost for the equipment is $7,100, with the City being required to cover 10 percent, or $710, he said.

The cameras can be mounted and used in the patrol car or worn by the officer, Poloni said. Although the cars already have video cameras, these new devices will record additional views and enable officers to record evidence that would have been outside of the range of the cameras inside the vehicles, Poloni said.

In addition, he said the grant would enable them to buy a portable fingerprint machine.

“If somebody doesn’t have ID, we can get a positive identification on them on the road,” said Poloni, pointing out that this device would allow officers to run a motorist or passenger’s fingerprints without having to bring that person back to the station. If a person lacks identification, like a driver’s license, but has been fingerprinted before, identification can be made.

Although it was one of the smaller grants, the City is grateful for the funds, given tight budgets in recent years. On April 9, Gov. Rick Snyder announced that criminal justice agencies throughout all of Michigan were receiving $1.2 million through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. The funds, which are being used for new technology this year, are aimed at improving anti-drug and other crime-fighting efforts.

“Protecting Michigan citizens is a top priority, and these grants will go a long way toward improving the technology and tools that support our public safety community,” Snyder said in a prepared statement.

At press time, Poloni said they now need to file the appropriate paperwork and place an order for the equipment. They hope to get the cameras and portable fingerprint machine in roughly a month, he said.

Poloni said officers Joseph Adams and C.J. Lee helped to research the equipment for the City.

More than 40 law enforcement agencies around the state received ARRA Byrne JAG grants, including police departments in Madison Heights, Livonia and Lincoln Park. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office was another of the recipients, being awarded a $50,000 grant for video cameras, tablets, surveillance equipment, two-way radios, a forensic mobile data extraction device and digital recorders for criminal investigation efforts and improved safety and efficiency.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer K. Michelle Moran at kmoran@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1047.