On June 9, 2020, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) announced they had received funding from the Department of Justice to provide a Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Grant. Eligibility for the grant was based on population of the jurisdiction.
The Fort Walton Beach Police Department applied for the grant on June 30th and was notified on October 9th that the department has been awarded $105,995.
The FWBPD will use the supplemental funding to better equip Staff and offset the costs for the response to COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has changed the way we police,” said Chief Robert Bage. “We must now be more aware of our environment and prepared for a threat that can not only affect our safety, but also the safety of our families and coworkers. We have to balance education, encouragement and enforcement, and now public health mandates that have not been part of traditional policing.”
According to the application, the purchased equipment and supplies will assist the FWBPD’s efforts to reduce Coronavirus exposure for employees and the community. The grant will also allow for leveraging of technology to help mitigate exposure risks.
The items purchased under the grant will fall into the following categories:
- Building sanitation
- Additional cellular modems for remote connections of laptops
- Voice over IP services to allow for remote phone contacts
- PPE and sanitizing supplies
- Barricades and traffic cones to assist in the operation of testing sites, distribution sites, etc. due to COVID.
- Laptop computers for remote work
- Temperature readers
- Radio improvements
- Thermal Imaging
“The COVID-19 grant will provide additional funding for personal protection equipment (PPE) which will improve our remote and supervisory response capacity, traffic control and special event supplies,” continued Chief Bage.
The purchase of most of this equipment will be through State or Federal contracts that have been “competitively procured which will allow the City to save time and money,” according to city documents.
The project is 100% grant funded and does not require any matching funds.
On Tuesday night, this grant will go before the city council for final approval.