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1:41 PM Thu, Nov. 15th

Prescott among local governments to get allocation of U.S. Justice recovery money

PRESCOTT - Police equipment requests that fell victim to budget constraints in previous years could be the beneficiaries of about $84,000 in U.S. Justice Assistance Grant money.

The Prescott City Council voiced support Tuesday for a grant application for the city's share of Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant money, which the federal government has earmarked to cover training, supplies and equipment to enhance law enforcement programs.

Police Chief Randy Oaks told the council that the JAG program already has allocated $84,057 to Prescott.

In order to get the federal money, Oaks said, the city must apply, and providing that the proposed purchases are within the scope of the grant requirements, the city would receive its share of the JAG money.

To come up with its list of proposed expenditures, Oaks said the police department went "back to past year's budgets (and looked at) needs we had, but were not funded."

The items the police department proposes buying include six mobile digital computers; an automated license plate reader; five SWAT tactical vests; a motion-activated surveillance device; a birddog quick-install GPS tracking device; and one body wire.

While several of the purchases would go for technology that has been available for years, such as the mobile digital computers, Oaks said some of the money would go for relatively new technology, such as the automated license plate reader.

At about $21,000 for one unit, Oaks said the "high-tech enforcement tool" would allow officers to immediately get information, based on vehicles' plate numbers.

The council placed the grant application on its consent agenda for its April 14 consent agenda, a list of non-controversial items that usually gets unanimous support of the council.

Along with Prescott's $84,057, other area governments also received allocations of JAG money. According to a press release from the White House Office of Media Affairs, other allocations in Yavapai County include:

• Camp Verde - $22,958.

• Chino Valley - $18,330.

• Cottonwood - $25,735.

• Prescott Valley - $101,090.

• Yavapai County - $173,853.