Sheriff’s office receives $70K in grants

Published 9:28 pm Friday, October 26, 2012

Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin told the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that the Sheriff’s Office recently received $70,000 in grants — grants that will help pay for patrol vehicles and other department needs.
The first grant is for $29,655, and it will allow the Sheriff’s Office to fund a full-time position for a victim advocate. This victim advocate will be available 24 hours a day, to help victims of crimes, including domestic violence, child molestation and sexual assault.

The second grant is from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, in the amount of $10,000. It will be used to purchase two camera systems for patrol vehicles, as well as five alcohol sensors.

“This grant is part of Gov. Deal’s safety network, trying to get drunk drivers off the road, increase seat belt use and improve safe driving,” Griffin said.

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The final grant is for $30,000 and will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture — Rural Development. The money will be used to help in the purchase of six patrol vehicles.

Griffin explained that his office will take out a $190,000 loan for the vehicles, and then USDA will return the grant money to the department’s budget. The loan is a five-year term, at 3.5 percent interest.

Griffin said that his department already has the loan re-payments included in the year’s budget.

The vehicles purchased are as follows:

• Three Dodge Chargers, at a cost of $22,646 each, from Cass Burch in Quitman, Ga.

• One Chevy Tahoe with spotlight, at a cost of $26,937, and one Tahoe without spotlight, at a cost of $26,646.50, from Action GM in Bainbridge.

• One four-wheel-drive Dodge Ram pickup truck, at a cost of $23,597, from Cass Burch in Quitman.

The Sheriff’s Office sought at least three bidders — including at least one from Bainbridge — for each category of vehicle, and took the lowest bid received.

Griffin said his department has to purchase new vehicles every year, and has used the USDA grant program in the past to help save money.