Grant provides funds for new police tools in Ocean Springs

Published 5:52 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2008

City leaders recently approved the purchase of several items for the police department, using the last of a $1 million Homeland Security Grant.

Among the items approved by the city for the Ocean Springs Police Department were a $28,763 outdoor refrigeration system, a $32,146 forensic video system, and a police server, EOC server and exchange server valued at $57,672.

“The refrigeration system will be used for dry storage of emergency supplies until the next hurricane or disaster; the units will then be used for cold storage of perishable food items,” Police Chief Lionel Cothern said.

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Mayor Connie Moran said none of the grant money could go to the “bricks and mortar” of building a new police department, which is being planned. Moran said the money had to be used for equipment only.

Cothern said he is looking forward to incorporating the new equipment and technology into the department. The additions will be transferred to the new facility when it is completed.

When the forensic video equipment is purchased it will be the only operational system of its kind in Jackson County. The equipment enables police to enhance photos taken from surveillance cameras and video footage. Cothern said his department has relied on equipment at Biloxi Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department in the past.

The computer servers will allow officers to have a faster and more secure system for receiving and sending information. The new system will also be a back up for the computer server at city hall.