Keeping the streets safe in any city is no easy task, so in an effort to lighten the load on the police department in Elmira, the city council will apply for three grants worth about $150,000. Our Bill Mich has more on the impact this money could have.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- From simple traffic stops to dangerous standoffs, the Elmira police officers have to stay on their toes and be ready for anything. So to support their effort, the city took steps to try to help improve the department.
"Any money that I can get in that I am not taking from the taxpayers, directly from the community and we're using it for extra enforcement and support for the police, excellent," said Mayor Sue Skidmore.
That potential extra money could come in the form of three different grants. The city will apply and nothing is guaranteed, but if the money is granted, it could make a big difference. One of the grants comes from State Farm and is worth $25,000 that would go to enforcing seatbelt laws and cracking down on distracted drivers. The other two come from the Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program. The first would be to clean up bad neighborhoods, a growing need in the city.
"It's just enhancing some patrols. It's targeting specific things and they are just out there. They're not subject to the calls, so they can be a little bit more proactive doing that kind of thing. It goes well with drug enforcement and certainly the gun calls that we've had," said Elmira Police Chief Michael Robertson.
That grant would be for $30,000. The other, from the same program, would be worth $100,000 and go toward improving the communications equipment within the department, like new radios and computers for patrol cars.
"Tonight is the first step towards hopefully being awarded those grants. It would be huge," Robertson said.
The city will find out about that huge news later this year.