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APD awarded upgrade grant

News Staff Writer

Gov. Kay Ivey announced recently that Atmore Police Department has been awarded a $24,000 grant for the purchase of new software for APD’s in-car computers, an upgrade that will make it easier for officers to share information while on patrol.
APD Chief Chuck Brooks said the latest round of funding provides money to help enhance an important aspect of police work.
“When we have an opportunity to apply for grants, we do,” he said. “We’re in constant need of improvements in communications — radio, calls and computers — to try and catch up with the times. We can keep our officers on the street by installing computers. Communications is key in law enforcement, and these grants reduce the cost to our local taxpayers.”
Executive Administrative Assistant Samantha Bennett, who wrote the grant application, said the federal money would speed up officers’ response times.
“This grant has allowed the department to purchase computer-aided dispatch software for patrol,” she explained. “This software will enhance the department’s dispatch time by allowing the officers to view calls for service, entered from the main dispatch center, in real time.”
Brooks pointed out that the newly announced funding comes on the heels of a grant the department was awarded eight months ago with which to purchase emergency radios for patrol cars.
“Atmore Police Department applied for and was awarded a $50,000 grant in October 2022 from the Homeland Security Grant Program,” he said, explaining that the funding from that grant was used to purchase equipment that will enhance APD’s communications during times of disasters. “This grant allowed the department to purchase P25 mobile radios that will provide a more effective communication with federal, state and local agencies.”
The latest round of grants includes $147,414 to seven different law enforcement agencies in south Alabama, including the APD allocation and a $10,000 award to Flomaton police for the purchase of bullet-proof tactical vests. The funds awarded to each agency are earmarked for the purchase of new equipment or to pay for improvements to existing equipment.
The latest grant is part of more than $750,000 in law-enforcement equipment funding provided by the U.S. Department of Justice and administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
Ivey said she was happy to help in any way she could to enhance the safety of law officers and the people they serve.
“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect and serve our communities every day, and having up-to-date equipment helps them be better prepared for what they may face on any given day,” she said. “I am pleased to assist these agencies in their efforts to keep their officers and communities safe.”