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Gwinnett Police Awarded $340,000 in Grants for Disaster Response

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to accept about $340,000 in state and federal grants that will help the Gwinnett County Police Department improve its ability to deal with natural and manmade disasters.

Of the total, about $182,000 is being awarded through the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security. None of the grants require local contributions.

GEMA/HS grants include:
· $98,000 to the Hazardous Device Unit for two side-by-side utility vehicles and trailers for special events, plus new x-ray generators, upgrades to older x-ray machines, and two upgraded portable radios to replace dated radios;

· $52,000 to upgrade the Uniform Division Operations Center, which is used during critical incidents like terrorism, search and rescues, responding to explosive devices, civil unrest, SWAT responses, special events, hazardous material incidents and natural disasters. The Operations Center allows command staff to make quick and effective decisions based on real-time information from multiple sources;

· $13,720 for the Chemical/Biological/Radioactive/Nuclear/Explosive team such as filters and bags for gas masks, a door opener for entering facilities while wearing bulky gear and voice communications devices;

· $12,000 to acquire a new Explosive Detection K-9 to replace an aging, bomb-sniffing dog who will retire soon;

· $6,000 awarded to the Hazardous Devices Unit for equipment, supplies, health check-ups and care for the department’s Explosive Detection K-9s.

Commissioners also approved an agreement with the Atlanta Regional Commission, which will contribute about $158,000 toward maintaining critical communication equipment for the Gwinnett County Office of Emergency Management and other supplies and services. The funding comes from a grant program of the ARC’s Atlanta Urban Area Security Initiative. The program is designed to create and sustain regional efforts to improve security in and around the Atlanta area.