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Middletown police apply for U.S. Department of Justice grant

Amanda Parrish
Middletown Transcript

MIDDLETOWN -- Middletown Police Department is looking to make some technological upgrades with federal funding.

The department applied for the U.S. Department of Justice Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant for $11,446 to upgrade the radios that patrol officers carry on their belts.

Chief Robert Kracyla said it will cover three of the new generation of Motorola radios and accessories. He said they will roll out the radio to more officers as other grants become available.

“It is a much more rugged and reliable performer. It has more advanced features,” he said.

The chief said all patrol and administrative officers already carry a radio, but this one allows for a faster response time. It is smaller and equipped with a GPS tracker.

“A smaller radio equals more room on the belt, which equals less weight on the belt, which equals better safety,” he said. “It's like electronics, after five years, it starts to become obsolete.”

The Justice Assistance Grant is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to states and local governments, according to the Bureau of Justice Assistance website.

Grants are given for personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, training, technical assistance and information systems for criminal justice, including prevention and education programs, drug treatment and enforcement and mental health programs.

Although the funding can be used for a variety of programs, Kracyla said the department has usually applied for equipment upgrades.

According to the website, Middletown’s request qualifies as a “Category 1 award,” meaning it's less than $25,000. If awarded, the grant would last two years, and the department can apply for an extension of up to two years.

The application was submitted Aug. 19. Anyone seeking more information can contact Heidi Menasco at the police department at 130 Hampden Road, Middletown or by emailing hmenasco@middletown.delaware.gov.