The Sumner County Sheriff’s Office will receive nearly $70,000 from the total of $860,291 provided by the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG). I.S Sen. Lindsey Graham made the announcement of grant award. The grant money will primarily be used to upgrade the tactical programs at the department.
The JAG Program is known to be the country’s leading source of federal funding for law enforcement organizations on state and local levels. The monetary assistance they provide is used for a variety of purposes such as law enforcement programs such as prosecution and courts, drug treatment and enforcement, and technology improvements.
In the course of the distribution of grant money, the administrative division commander for the Sumter County Sheriff’s office, Major Gary Metts, said that the fund they will be receiving will be properly allocated to department’s special units.
The marine department will receive new equipment for its 17-foot lake boat and Jon boat. Its dive team will also receive new equipment. According to Metts, dive team’s members had been using their own equipment but will now be supplied with a new gear, thanks to the grant.
The members of the department’s high-risk tactical team, meanwhile, will also be issued new equipment such as new firearms, communications equipment, and uniforms.
Metts finds the funding beneficial for the whole department, which will enable them to use a new electronic automated firearms simulator. This specially designed equipment will put deputies in front of a video screen and in the middle of a real-life “shoot or don’t shoot” scenario.
“Typically, firearms training was at a firing range, but this will be more of classroom-style simulation. It’s more of a real-life environment,” Metts reinstated.
Aside from those pieces of equipment, the new automated mobile license plate recognition system added to the excitement of Metts and many other members of the department. The system can be hooked onto any cruiser and scan about 100 license plates a minute.
Scanned plates are cross-references with the department’s database, and if any tag is red flagged, deputies can respond immediately.
Metts is impressed with this new automated mobile license plate recognition system. “We can drive through a parking lot or some place like that and scan all the license plates, and if we come across a vehicle that’s reported stolen or something like that, we can take care if it right then,” he said.
Furthermore, the JAG grant, the sheriff’s department will receive $26,000 from the state Department of Public Safety. The 3rd Judicial circuit Law Enforcement Network grant was issued to the department because it’s the host agency in the network.
The grant will be used for traffic enforcement measures including electronic flares, safety vests and gloves, stop sticks, and accident reconstruction equipment.