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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Newbern Police receive new equipment purchased with grant funds

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Newbern Police Sgt. Rob Harrison (left), Newbern Mayor Olen Parker (middle), and Newbern Police Chief Jim Richards (right) examine the police department's new equipment obtained with grant funds.
Last month, the Newbern Police Department began receiving ordered equipment as a result of a $5,000 grant received from the Governor's Highway Safety Office. The new equipment will allow officers to be better prepared with the latest technologies in law enforcement and will assist them in evaluating and documenting impaired drivers. The Newbern Police Department has been awarded the grant for the past several years and the grant funds have assisted them in purchasing such equipment as body-worn cameras, alcohol enforcement supplies and digital in-car video cameras advanced enough to automatically download to the police department's computer system when a patrol unit pulls close to the building.

"Technology is changing the way police departments operate today," said Newbern Chief of Police Jim Richards. "It is essential to stay current with the ongoing technological advancements being made today in law enforcement and we are making every attempt not only to keep up with the advances but to keep them in our favor."

The equipment recently received includes a portable handheld alcohol sensor, digital in-car video camera system, handheld battery-operated portable radar unit, and computer equipment for storing and producing video evidence. The portable handheld alcohol sensor is a valuable tool that will assist officers in evaluating the level of impairment on intoxicated drivers in the field. This adding to the field sobriety test currently administered to a subject suspected of being intoxicated. This device will also be very useful for such events as roadblocks.

Newbern Police Sgt. Rob Harrison, who is the grant's project manager and the department's training officer, said the equipment and additional training from the state is very beneficial.

"The Newbern Police Department has a very close working relationship with the Governor's Highway Safety Office (GSHO)," said Harrison. "Not only do they provide us with the latest equipment, they provide our officers with outstanding training opportunities on a variety of relevant topics at no cost to the police department."

Richards indicated to the State Gazette the GSHO grant application process is now open for the next fiscal year and that during the next few weeks he will be focusing in on what the latest technologies are and what equipment is needed by the department.

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