Law Enforcement Programs receive $5.6M grant awards

Published 6:30 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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Alabama law enforcement program will soon receive $5.6M grant funding intended to increase public safety on highways and in communities.

The Alabama Regional Highway Safety Office at Enterprise State Community College is one of four regional traffic safety offices receiving grant funds. The office, which serves Autauga, Barbour, Bibb, Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lowndes, Montgomery, Pike, Russell and Tuscaloosa counties, will utilize the award of $1.14 grant dollars to cover overtime for police officers, allowing state troopers and sheriff’s deputies to conduct extra patrols and checkpoints targeting speeding, seat belt violations, and impaired driving.

Governor Kay Ivey announced the awards on Feb. 8, pointing to public safety as a core mission of her administration.

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“Public Safety is a core mission of my Administration,” Ivey said. “Our state, regional, county and municipal law enforcement officers do a tremendous job keeping our state and her communities safe. I am pleased to award these grants to support the programs that help our officers receive the training and resources needed to fulfill their mission to serve and protect our communities and our highways.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering funds made available to the state by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Justice.

“ADECA stands with Governor Ivey in support of our state and local law enforcement agencies who are helping make Alabama safer,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell.

Three other highway safety offices received awards: $1.42 million to the Franklin County Commission for the North Central Alabama Highway Safety Office, $1.66 million to the city of Opelika for the East Central Alabama Highway Safety Office, $993,266 to the Mobile County Commission for the Southwest Regional Highway Safety Office.

The University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety, which uses funds for technology development projects to improve data quality, timeliness, completeness and the efficiency of officers and emergency medical services personnel, will also receive a grant award of $203,558.

In addition to highway safety funding, grant awards totaling $240,000 were designated for law enforcement equipment and forensics training.

Jacksonville State University will receive $150,000 to assist its Center for Applied Forensics in providing law enforcement officers with training in recognizing, preserving, and collecting evidence routinely encountered by patrol personnel and investigators, with the end goal of assisting in the prosecution of complex crime cases.

The Alabama Department of Corrections Law Enforcement Services Division was granted $90,000 to purchase three handheld drug analyzers, which allow officers to safely analyze suspected narcotics while maintaining the integrity of evidence and keeping the officers safe.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency will receive $103,343 to ensure compliance of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which requires convicted sex offenders to register and notify authorities of where they live once they are released from prison.

ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor thanked Ivey and ADECA leaders for their support and for recognizing the critical role grants play in ensuring law enforcement is properly equipped.

“We are grateful for the unwavering support of Governor Ivey, as well as the support from ADECA, to assist law enforcement with the funds needed to continuously provide an enhanced layer of protection and service for all,” Taylor said. “These funds greatly impact our operations and enable our Troopers to actively patrol and work numerous high-visibility details on our state’s roadways, ultimately reducing the number of crashes and traffic fatalities. Additionally, the funds distributed for the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act continuously allow our Agency to keep local communities well-informed and promote public awareness, as it relates to the potential threat that sex offenders and fugitives pose to Alabama’s citizens.”