Grant money on the way to one Region 8 police department

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- "Everytime we get the opportunity to capitalize on some program or grant like that, that means that we can use more of our locally generated funds to help support our operations," said Jonesboro Police Department Chief Mike Yates.

Chief Yates is talking about grant money and two big gifts the department just got.  They are both from the Department of Justice, one is worth nearly 50 thousand dollars.

"It's basically a federal grant that allows us to purchase equipment and things of that nature that we wouldn't normally be able to do within our budget cycles," said Yates.

Yates says in this case, it's new dash cam equipment for some police cruisers, replacing outdated or worn out equipment.  They are valuable resources for the field, for training, and in the courtroom.

"When we have a complaint about some action that we've taken, we can review that video and most of the time it winds up taking care of it right there," said Yates.

The other DOJ grant will help fund bullet proof vests for officers.  Yates says each vest is specially fitted for the officer and the vests are cycled out  about every five years.

"It allows us to take money that we would normally have to invest in ballistic vests and use it for other things that we need," said Yates.

"We appreciate it very much," said Jonesboro Mayor, Harold Perrin.

Perrin says these grants are gifts and the city is constantly looking for ways to keep the departments well equipped despite a very tight budget.

"When you've got a budget our size and the number of employees and 82 square miles, it all has to work," said Perrin.

"It helps supplement us across the board in a lot of different areas," said Yates.

As far as the matching grant for the vests, the total award is almost 57 thousand dollars.  Half will be paid by the Department of Justice, the other half by the City of Jonesboro.

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