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Grant to help fund equipment upgrades, overtime for Weber City PD

April 23rd, 2014 10:24 pm by Wes Bunch

Grant to help fund equipment upgrades, overtime for Weber City PD

WEBER CITY — The town of Weber City said it plans to use more than $36,000 in grant funding it recently received from the Virginia Attorney General's Office to purchase new equipment for its police department and cover overtime pay for officers.

Weber City Police Chief Phillip Lane said he and Mayor Grover W. Dougherty applied for the funds last year after the Attorney General's Office received roughly $50 million from a settlement with Abbott Labs stemming from a lawsuit over misbranded drugs.

Former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli made those funds available as grants to law enforcement agencies across the commonwealth last year just prior to the expiration of his term.

Lane said the money will go a long way toward providing much-needed equipment upgrades for the town's five-man police department.

"The funding is a tremendous help in updating some old equipment that otherwise would have come from the department budget and would have to be budgeted for in the coming year or so," Lane said.

The improved equipment consists of new duty weapons, police gear and body armor for officers.

The department will also purchase equipment through Verizon that will allow officers to properly operate in-car computers acquired last year through a Homeland Security grant.

In addition to addressing those needs, Lane said approximately $15,000 of the grant will be used to cover overtime pay for officers.

"It will supply overtime money to pay officers to work on their days off," Lane said. "That will mean more patrols and officer visibility in the community."

Dougherty said the grant funds will not only help the town's police officers but its bottom line as well.

"These grants supplement a huge amount of funding for the police department and save the town on the yearly budget for the department," Dougherty said. "Grants for the department help the town keep tax rates down and be able to continue to supply our citizens with services, such as free trash pick-ups, that otherwise would have to be added to the tax base."

Lane said the town is also waiting to see if it will be awarded a grant from USDA Rural Development that the department will use to purchase two new vehicles.

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