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$400,000 in grant funds benefit law enforcement, DA’s Office in Chautauqua County

MAYVILLE – Law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office in Chautauqua County will benefit from more than $400,000 in grant funds that were reviewed by the Public Safety Committee at the regular meeting held in the Gerace Office Building on Wednesday afternoon.

Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace presented seven resolutions for grant money, and all of them were unanimously approved by the committee. Two of the grants – for $124,218 and $70,585 – are for Operation Stone Garden from the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services for special operations. He said the funds will help with a boat used on Lake Erie and some ground operations that are coordinated with other agencies.

A grant of $75,000 from the state Division of Criminal Justice for narcotics control also was announced. The sheriff said the funding was secured through State Sen. Catharine M. Young, R-Olean.

Funding for county Bomb Squad services in the amount of $103,000 will be used for training and other costs. The Bomb Squad responds to incidents in several Western New York counties, the sheriff said. Funds are from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

The K-9 team trained for detection of explosives received $29,820 and $20,000 in two separate grants. Funds are also from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

Gerace said the Sheriff’s Office has two dogs that are trained for bomb detection.

A $37,089 Port Security Grant will be used for radio dispatch equipment. A local match of $12,000 will be applied to the expenses to qualify for the grant.

A $25,000 allocation for the District Attorney’s Office was funded through the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program and will be used for salary and benefits.

In addition to the grants, an emergency resolution was presented for $140,000 in backup equipment for the information technology system in the Sheriff’s Office. The project, proposed for 2016, was added to the current budget because of a $29,000 savings on the equipment.

The backup equipment will provide security for all dispatch communications and recordings. Committee members approved the resolution, which will be presented to the County Legislature next week.