Board of Supervisors OK public safety grant funding

jojacobs@vagazette.com

Supervisors approved approximately $71,000 in grant funding to support police and fire department programs at their meeting Tuesday.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management awarded James City Fire Department two grants worth a total of $46,098 to support the region’s Citizen Corps programs and the county’s sheltering program. The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services awarded the county police department two grants totaling $25,113, which will go toward recruitment and logistical equipment.

Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the awarded grants as part of their consent calendar.

A $35,000 grant will provide training and equipment for the Citizens Corps in Williamsburg and James City, which includes the Citizens Emergency Response Team and Community Animal Response Team. Participants are citizens trained in emergency management activities like search and rescue, logistics and first aid.

“This award will support the training and equipment needs for both the James City County and the City of Williamsburg programs. Many of the training activities will be coordinated cooperatively between both jurisdictions,” James City Fire Chief Ryan Ashe wrote in a memo.

Training for the Citizens Corps includes classroom study. Funds earmarked for equipment will be used to purchase items such as backpacks and medical supplies to outfit participants, James City Deputy Emergency Manager Sara Ruch said prior to the meeting.

The other grant awards $11,098 designated for the county’s sheltering program. The money will be used to purchase new check-in equipment and provide communications equipment for hearing-impaired shelter occupants.

“We’ll be able to provide more services,” Ruch said, adding that the funding will help make the county’s disaster shelters more accessible to hearing-impaired people and children.

Neither grant requires a local match, according to county documents.

On the law enforcement side of things, two separate grants awarded to James City Police Department will buy new logistical equipment and support recruitment efforts.

A $12,669 grant will go toward recruitment efforts at James City Police Department. The state provided $11,402 and the county will provide $1,267 through in-kind contributions.

The funds will be used to buy supplies for presentation materials, overtime pay and travel costs for job fairs outside the area.

A $12,444 grant, which includes a $1,244 in-kind match, will buy an application for the county’s records management system to make it and the computer-aided dispatch system accessible via mobile phones and tablets.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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