DUBOIS – The Sandy Township Police Department is receiving more than a $40,000 boost thanks to grant funds. That money will be used to help the force get some new equipment.
Sandy Township Sgt. Kris Kruzelak said three separate grants were awarded to the department within the past few months.
One came from the U.S. Department of Justice, he told the township supervisors Monday night. The grant paid for half of the cost of eight new bulletproof vests for the police department, amounting to a $3,588 award.
The other two grant awards came from the Department of Homeland Security.
One helped the department, working in conjunction with the DuBois City Police Department, to obtain a modular portable video system.
The more than $14,000 machine will be able to see in the dark, aiding not only the police in searching for people or things, but also emergency responders, such as in the case of a building collapse.
“That award was for emergency workers and police departments that didn’t have the money to purchase specialized equipment,” Kruzelak said.
Homeland Security also provided more than $25,000 to outfit all 17 officers with portable radios and place them in all police vehicles.
With the new technology, being put into place across the county, dispatchers at the Clearfield County 9-1-1 Center will know instant which officer is calling county control.
“Each individual portable that each officer is issued has a different number assigned to it,” Kruzelak said. “Anytime I key my mic, they know who I am.”
In the future, dispatchers will also be able to tell where an officer is at the time when his radio is activated to make a call.
The benefit of that, Kruzelak said, is that if he is injured in the line of duty, he need only press a button and he will be able to communicate with dispatchers who will know his location. Right now, officers can press the button if they are in distress, which opens the microphone, but dispatchers do not know the officer’s location.