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Chambersburg police qualify for block grant

January 19, 2001

Chambersburg police qualify for block grant



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersburg Borough Police will be able to hone their reactions with firearms thanks to a new state-of-the-art program the department will purchase with grant money.

Chambersburg Police qualified for a $77,421 Local Law Enforcement block grant to purchase new equipment.

The big ticket item, about $50,000, is for firearms training equipment, said Police Chief Michael DeFrank.

This part-computerized, part-video technology system requires an officer to stand before a large screen while a crime scenario is played out.

The officer is armed with an electric handgun attached to the computer.

As the scenario unfolds, the officer is required to make certain decisions.

"If he makes the wrong decision, we immediately know," DeFrank said.

The scenario changes with the officer's choices.

This technology gives officers a sort of "hands-on" training that is different from other methods.

"This trains officers properly in the use of deadly force and nondeadly force," DeFrank said.

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DeFrank said he would like to find a place to set up the screen permanently, but for now officers will set it up and take it down as needed.

The grant comes with a couple of stipulations.

The borough must provide a local match of $8,601, which was included in the recently approved fiscal 2001 budget, said Borough Secretary Tanya Mickey.

All funds must be spent within two years, and "can only be used on the meat and potatoes, the nuts and bolts," Mickey said. It cannot be used to conduct studies.

The Borough Council held a public hearing on how the money will be spent at its meeting last week.

No one from the public asked questions, but several council members did before lending their approval of the list.

Items total nearly $115,000, but this year's grant and funds remaining from the last two years will cover everything, Mickey said.

Other items on the list include:

-- Cameras, boosters and labor on a park project at Rosedale, $15,000.

-- New radio, radio boxes and lighting equipment for motorcycles, $8,000.

-- Evidence drying cabinet that is certified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, $8,840.

-- Ductless forensic workstation, $5,300.

-- Protech NATO 3 shield for Tactical Team, $3,500.

-- Video pole camera for Tactical Team $3,500.

-- VCR for Crime Impact Team, $2,000.

-- Two-year lease for two motorcycles, $6,240.

-- Operation and maintenance expenses for motorcycles during life of the lease, $8,000.

-- Firearms training equipment, $50,000.

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