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The Shawnee News-Star
  • SPD benefits from many grants, military equipment totaling $2.5M

  • The Shawnee Police Department, benefiting from receiving nearly $1.4 million in grants in the past few years, along with military equipment secured this year, is seeing the benefits of about $2.5 million in funds and equipment to better serve the city and its residents.
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  • The Shawnee Police Department, benefiting from receiving nearly $1.4 million in grants in the past few years, along with military equipment secured this year, is seeing the benefits of about $2.5 million in funds and equipment to better serve the city and its residents.
    Chief Russell Frantz said the boost recycles “your federal tax dollars back into serving the citizens of Shawnee and Pottawatomie County.”
    The recently acquired equipment is available for disaster operations such as tornadoes, floods, SWAT and narcotics operations, or even looking for missing persons, the chief said.
    Chris Thomas, administrator of support services for SPD, said since 2007 the department has received a total of $1,394,690.30 in grants, many of which have purchased much-needed equipment.
    In addition to that, contacts made by officers at the local, state and federal level have led to SPD securing military equipment at reduced rates.
    Through LESO — Law Enforcement Support Office — SPD has been able to obtain more than $1 million in U.S. military assets for a cost of less than $10,000, Frantz said.
    That equipment, includes a MRAP worth $733,000, which was purchased for $2,500. The vehicle, which is a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected unit, came with six new tires and six additional tires, and was refurbished.
    Other equipment, such as five Humvees that are worth $55,000 each, was picked up for a cost of just $800 each.
    A mobile command vehicle that cost the U.S. military $135,000 was purchased for $1,000 and the newest item, a bulldozer, was acquired for the firing range, the chief said. SPD spent $3,700 for the dozer, but it is valued at more than $180,000.
    In addition to those items, the department this year also has received $20,000 in K-9 animals donated to the department and those police dogs are now working in patrol.
    With the LESO items, SPD has exceeded $2.5 million in grants and valued equipment for the community.
    Thomas, who spoke of how the grants help, said one of the grants they are currently working under is the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office grant program, for which the department receives funding each year. With those grant funds, officers can work overtime hours to work seat belt and drunk driving enforcement, which Thomas said helps reduce accidents. There were zero traffic-related fatalities accidents in the city limits in 2013, he added.
    The department also has received several Edward Byrnes Memorial Grants that have provided funding for much equipment for the local officers. These grants are awarded in cooperation to both the SPD and Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, with both agencies receiving funds for equipment they need.
    Some of the items purchased by SPD from these grants have included new taser weapons, radar units, road spikes, digital cameras, electronic ticketing devisors, lapel microphones, tactical equipment, graffiti cameras, ballistic helmets, among many other types of police-related equipment.
    Page 2 of 2 - With too many other grants to mention, plus many items provided to the department through the fundraising efforts of the Shawnee Police Foundation, “SPD has done pretty well,” Thomas said.
     
     

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