State grants keep Delaware police departments up-to-date

 

The Camden Police Department purchased $150 riot helmets and chin straps with state grant money. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

DOVER — Added equipment, training, and patrol hours resulted from $330,479.99 available to police departments through the State Aid to Local Law Enforcement funding in Fiscal Year 2016.

All 37 eligible agencies applied for funding last year, covering larger and smaller departments through a formula based on number of full-time officers on staff.

With $4,279.42, Camden Police purchased two Hewlett-Packard workstation computers and eight riot helmets.

“The grant funds are very important to small departments,” Camden Chief William Bryson said.

“I am not sure if you are aware that basically all of the paperwork an officer does today is completed electronically. Traffic tickets, written warnings, crime reports, accident reports, criminal summonses and arrest reports are all completed and submitted electronically. All evidence is logged in and tracked electronically.

“We predominately use SALLE funds to keep our computers and software up to date.

“Submitting documents to the state electronically has reduced the number of personnel needed by the courts, State Bureau of Identification and the Delaware State Police Traffic Section to input data, however doing so, requires current technology for all police departments.”

Dover Police utilized $12,300 to fund its cadet program, $6,296.91 for technology upgrades in police cruisers and for the planning and training unit, and $669.97 to aid in Vice and Organized Crime investigations.

A $4,462.19 grant was spent to fit a new Clayton PD patrol vehicle with emergency lighting, siren and prisoner partition.

“These funds make a huge impact on our budget,” Clayton Police Chief Brian Hill said. “It allows us to purchase equipment that we would otherwise not be able to do because of budget constraints.”

With some Fiscal Year 2015 money combined with this year’s funding, Cheswold Police invested $2,350 into training and $1,228.05 into overtime shifts.

Training conferences

Cheswold officers attended the 2016 IACP Training Conference where classes were attended on body worn camera issues and policies, use of force issues and police-citizen relations, Chief Chris Workman said.

“It allowed us to speak with other departments in the same situations and get insight on what’s working and not working in smaller communities throughout the world along with giving us the chance to review and speak with numerous vendors who provide law enforcement related equipment to determine what would be beneficial and most cost effective for us,” he said.

The allocation also covered attendance at the annual Delaware Police Chiefs Seminar “and provides training to the Delaware Police Chiefs on a variety of issues important to the Delaware Law Enforcement community,” Chief Workman said.

Cheswold officers performed supplemental and specialty patrols with overtime funding.

“The funds from SALLE and other state grant programs are very crucial for smaller municipal departments who would not be able to provide overtime, allow for specialty training or purchase much needed equipment,” Chief Workman said.

“Over the years these funds allow departments such as Cheswold to not be left behind no matter how small they are and help to maintain a high level of service and professionalism to their communities.

“The allocation for the use of SALLE funds varies from year to year depending on the need for the department. The bottom line is that without these funds in conjunction with other state funding for equipment, training and overtime, we would most likely not be able to provide for, if the funds were not available to us.”

Milford Police received $8,843.22 used to assist in replacing Motorola radios used in vehicles and carried on officer’s belts.

Felton PD invested $3,731.10 for equipment used on Chief Levi Brown’s new Tahoe vehicle, a replacement for the earlier vehicle that was struck by a drunk driver.

Harrington Police received $5,010.51 for training, equipment and overtime for community policing, Chief Norman Barlow said.

‘Critical’ to service

Describing the grant funding as “critical” to providing service, Blades Police Chief Paul Anthony said a K-9 narcotics dog was purchased to aid investigations. Prevalent use of heroin has fueled a majority of crimes, he said, testing a small department’s manpower that’s already taxed by overtime to address the complaint load.

“Every department in the state struggles with funding, no matter how large or small,” said Chief Anthony, whose department received $3,548.32 that was also used for minor vehicle repairs and overtime spent on investigations.

Smyrna Police received a $7,021.03 grant for overtime for community policing, bike and foot patrols and drug investigations, Chief Norman Wood said.

Describing the funds as a “great asset,” Delmar Police Chief Ivan Barkley said, “These funds help us fill the gaps that our budgets may not be able to.

“They provide a way to take care of some needs without putting additional burdens on small towns.”

Delmar plans to allocate some funding to “enhance community policing and we are still working on the rest,” Chief Ivan Barkley said.

 

Past police aid

Following is a list of what Kent and Sussex County police departments received from the State Aid to Local Law Enforcement Program in Fiscal Year 2014 as part of the Grant-in-Aid bill:

Bethany Beach – $4,713
One time vehicle enhancement

Blades – $3,571.19
Training; to purchase one Level II retention holster and double magazine pouch; and overtime for drug surveillance and intelligence gathering.

Bridgeville – $3,951
One time vehicle enhancement and to purchase Stinger flashlights with chargers, rifle locks and body armor.

Camden – $4,332.77
Purchase a Dell three-year extended warranty, upgraded duty holsters and a color printer.

Cheswold – $3,380.79
Overtime and extra patrol of high crime areas.

Clayton – $4,332.77
One time vehicle enhancement

Dagsboro – $3,761.58
Overtime in drug and high crime areas.

Delmar – $5,665.54
Purchase one complete mobile radio and software upgrades for two previously purchased radios.

Dewey Beach – $4,523.17
Purchase six fingerprint kits; one ballistic vest; three Streamlight flashlights and two desktop computers.

Dover – $20,516.40
Police technology and equipment upgrades to include installation of Rocket combo equipment to boost the signal strength for the cell lines used by the police vehicles.

Felton – $3,761.58
One time vehicle enhancement.

Fenwick Island – $4,142.37
Purchase on Remington shotgun, Windham Weapons M-4 carbines, Point Blank shield and weapon accessories (slings, sling adapters, shell holders and magazines).

Frankford – $3,380.79
Purchase of a mobile laptop computer.

Georgetown – $5,665.54
Overtime for drug investigations and buy/informant funds.

Greenwood – $3,571.19
One time vehicle enhancement.

Harrington – $4,903.96
One time vehicle enhancement and overtime for community policing.

Laurel – $5,475.14
Purchase Streamlight flashlights and a digital camera and video recorder to process crime scenes.

Lewes – $5,094.35
One time vehicle enhancement.

Milford – $8,140.68
Buy/informant money, overtime in drug and high crime areas.

Millsboro – $5,094.35
Upgrade existing server.

Milton – $4,713.56
Overtime for drug and high crime area investigations.

Ocean View – $4,332.77
Training.

Rehoboth Beach – $5,855.94
Purchase one laptop, voice recorders, duty cartridges for Taser and portable radio batteries.

Seaford – $8,140.68
Purchase 11 BLS medical kits for patrol vehicles; three Dell computers with accessories; matching federal funds for bullet proof vest program; and Magloclen dues.

Selbyville – $4,142.37
Purchase two portable barricade/speed bumps; body worn video recorders; one Windows Surface tablet; ballistic shields.

Smyrna – $7,379.10
Overtime for community meetings, events, foot and bike patrol and drug investigations.

South Bethany – $4,142.37
Enhance the salaries of six police officers and to purchase one transmitter, one HP printer, and one Steck Big Easy Tool Kit.

Wyoming – $3,571.19
Purchase computers to upgrade from Windows XP.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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