Calera Police Department to receive $200K grant

Published 12:06 pm Monday, March 16, 2009

The Calera Police Department will receive a $200,000 grant to purchase laptop computers and digital cameras for patrol cars, according to U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus.

The grant money comes from the U.S. House of Representatives’ fiscal year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, Bachus said in a news release. Calera Police Chief Sean Lemley estimates the grant will purchase 10 laptops and 20 digital cameras. Lemley said the additional technology will complete upgrades to the department’s 20 patrol cars.

The department received a $120,000 grant last year to purchase seven laptops and a computer-aided dispatch system. In addition, the city of Calera provided one laptop and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs provided two laptops.

Lemley said the laptops will dramatically reduce police response times. Once dispatchers receive an emergency call, the location of the call, as well as the location of the nearest patrol car, will instantly appear on the screen thanks to GPS technology.

Lemley added the laptops will keep officers on the street.

“We have all of our report management software on the computer. When officers take an incident report, they won’t have to leave their beat, drive all the way back to the office and type up the report. Now they can make the report in their car,” Lemley said.