By Lynda Jones
The Houston County Sheriff's Office is excited about two grants it was awarded this past week.
One is grant funding for body cameras and video storage, and the other is a new juvenile grant position designed to provide extra security at the schools.
Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt stated the body cameras and video storage are great tools for his deputies to use as evidence preservation as well as officer and public safety.
Bobbitt explained that the body camera/video storage grant value is a little over $40,000 with the county required to make a 25% match.
The 25% match will come from seized forfeiture funds. The funds in the forfeiture account come from monies seized from drug and felony cases that the Sheriff's Office made arrest on. This means that those who were arrested are helping pay for the equipment that will be used to catch other drug dealers and law violators, the sheriff explained.
Bobbitt added that over the years his office has sought out grants to obtain much needed equipment, attempting to reduce or eliminate the expense to local taxpayers.
"Obtaining grants is often an arduous task and very time consuming. We are competing against many agencies who need funding for special projects," a HCSO press release states.
The HCSO press release described the juvenile grant position as a blessing and said it will be used to assist the school districts in Houston County that do not have a police department.
"Lovelady, Kennard and Latexo School Districts will benefit greatly from this grant. Normally juvenile officer grants are written mainly to investigate juvenile crimes, but this one we asked for is designed to provide additional security at the schools while hopefully building positive relationships between our youth and law enforcement," the HCSO press release states.
HCSO Deputy Jeff Taylor will be one of three or four deputies rotating between the three school districts, Chief Deputy G. P. Shearer explained.