Sheriff’s Department grant for terror

Published 9:25 pm Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department has received a grant to prepare for terrorist attacks or any other emergency situation through the Pearl River County Emergency Management agency.

Emergency Management Director Danny Manley said he secured a grant for $48,400 from Mississippi Homeland Security. Manley said he applied for the grant after Sheriff David Allison asked if there was a way to get money to purchase emergency response tactical gear.

Allison said Manley had indicated there was some money with Homeland Security, and Allison told Manley he would like to try to get it.

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“He did all the leg work … to get the grant,” Allison said.

Allison said the department plans to purchase an SUV with that money that will be used for emergency response. Emergency response situations could involve terrorist attacks, jail riots or “any kind of outbreak,” Allison said.

Allison said he wanted to complete the installation of cameras in all the patrol vehicles, but the Homeland Security grant funds were not approved for that use. Instead, Allison said he will use funds from a $150,000 grant received recently from the governor’s office. Allison said he plans to finish outfitting all patrol cars with cameras and purchase additional department vehicles with those funds.

Chief Deputy Frank Vaccarela said the SUV to be purchased with the Homeland Security grant will come with a trailer that will contain critical incident equipment that can respond to natural disasters, terrorist events and extreme hostage situations. It also will contain rescue equipment and tactical defense equipment such as helmets and shields.

The SUV has been ordered and should arrive at the department in about three to four weeks while the equipment should arrive in about two to three weeks, Allison said.

Other grants Manley said he is working on include a grant to increase communication between volunteer fire departments and the Sheriff’s Department and another to increase neighborhood watch activity.