Two area law enforcement agencies were awarded more than $57,000 in grant funds to purchase updated equipment for crime prevention and control.
Hickory Police Department and the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office received the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grant (JAG) from the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Justice program.
The JAG grant, given to HPD and the sheriff’s office Aug. 18, is awarded annually based on a city’s population in comparison with its crime statistics.
HPD, which is the lead agency in the grant, will receive about $43,000, and the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office will received about $14,000. HPD will process the grant and oversee fund spending.
“Each item is going to play a unique role,” said Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins. “We’re buying a lot of technological equipment to keep up with the technology wave of this time.”
The money is earmarked for various law enforcement programs, including prosecution, prevention, education, drug treatment witness protection and technology improvement.
“It’s an annual thing that Congress appoints every year based on how much money is appointed by Congress,” Adkins said, adding the department will purchase “a lot of diverse equipment” with grant funds.
Catawba County Sheriff’s Office will purchase several items for forensic investigations, including a digital video image clarification system and an audio filter software system.
The sheriff’s office will also purchase a laptop-driven system, which extracts images or video from surveillance cameras, security systems or cell phones.
This equipment is necessary when sheriff’s deputies want to use images to locate or identify possible criminal suspects.