Grant money buys Austintown police new technology



Township Police Chief Robert Gavalier recently announced that his department has received more grant funding.

This time it’s for four desktop computers and 10 stun weapons through the federal Justice Assistance Grant, valued at $14,440.

Gavalier said the grant specifies that the department will have to destroy the old equipment, and that the department replaces desktop computers every five years and laptops every three years.

The stun weapons are “newer Tasers with rechargeable batteries,” he said. “Three to five years [into having them], we start having problems with them where they aren’t working right.”

Gavalier thanked officer Ron Crum, who writes grants for the department to receive funding. In 2013 and 2014, Austintown police received $500,000 through the Community Oriented Policing Services to hire four officers. The funding from 2013 was for two school-resource officers, and in 2014 it went for two officers, who had ceremonies in the later half of the year being sworn in as full-time officers.

“Any time that you can supplement tax dollars with grant dollars is outstanding,” said Jim Davis, chairman of the Austintown trustees. “The equipment that we’re purchasing [with grants] is additional money left that we’re able to purchase patrol cars for the officers or use that money to pay overtime like in a situation of an investigation.”

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