Calera police hoping for federal grant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 8, 2006

The Calera Police Department may receive federal grant money to upgrade its computers and other technology.

The department is listed under &8220;priority consideration&8221; to get part of the $538 million Office of Community Policing Services (COPS) bill.

Operating under the Justice Department, COPS provides law enforcement agencies funding to upgrade technology, such as in car computers, cameras and communication systems. The grants can also be used to bolster forensic capabilities.

Calera Police Chief Tommy Palmer said his department applied for the grant some time ago.

&8220;We did apply for additional funding to improve on infrastructures on computers and our other technology,&8221;

Palmer said. &8220;I hope we do receive the funding; we need it.&8221;

Although the priority ranking doesn&8217;t guarantee that the city will receive any money, it does rank Calera as one of only five departments in central Alabama who are considered first.

The other departments were the city of Gadsden, St. Clair County Commission, city of Jasper and the Calhoun County Sheriff&8217;s office.

&8220;The COPS grant program aims to help law enforcement agencies implement and enhance community policing. COPS funding assists law enforcement agencies across the country meet an ever-increasing range of challenges,&8221; said Senator Richard Shelby, who is chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations subcommittee in the U.S. Congress.

&8220;The $538 million provided in our bill will allow police departments throughout Alabama to take advantage of these grants and increase their enforcement efforts to become more efficient and effective.&8221;