Rome/Floyd, Cedartown, and Cartersville awarded public safety grants

June 8th, 2023 – 4:30 PM

Ethan GarrettWRGA Digital News Editor & Video Reporter

On Thursday (June 8th) Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced preliminary grant awards totaling more than $83.5 million for 118 qualified projects to improve community-level public safety measures and address law enforcement staffing challenges that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Kemp stated the following in a press release; “Public safety has always been a top priority of my administration and will continue to be. With the increase in violent crime seen in communities across the country, including here in our state, we’re sending reinforcements to keep hardworking Georgians and their neighborhoods safe. From tackling staffing needs to deploying new equipment and technology, these funds are being invested so that our brave first responders have the resources they need to fight back against dangerous criminals”

Northwest Georgia area public safety grants awarded:

– The City of Rome will receive $1,214,219.60 to invest in new equipment and technology to improve officer and public safety. Rome Police Department Assistant Chief Debbie Burnett stated that the grant funds will be used to purchase new in-car camera systems and body-worn cameras, and will also be used to acquire “cloud” video storage which will eliminate the need for a physical server. Burnett noted that the upgrades will allow the department to replace out-of-date and end-of-life video recording systems.

– The Floyd County Board of Commissioners will receive $1,012,303.03 for the Floyd County Sentry Initiative. The grant will go towards funding a full-time crime analyst position at the Floyd County Police Department (as well as providing technology and equipment for that position), and also towards new patrol vehicle and equipment upgrades. Floyd County Emergency Management Assistant Director Chris Fincher (Formerly Floyd County Police Department Sergeant) stated that the Sentry Initiative’s goal is to create an intelligence hub to aid other law enforcement agencies in preventing community violence, apprehending child predators, stopping human trafficking, and addressing the uptick in more technologically-based crimes as a result of the lockdown during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Fincher noted that the department applied for the grant back in the winter of 2022.

– The City of Cedartown is set to receive $1,087,262 to implement equipment to reduce violent crime. Cedartown City Manager Edward Guzman stated that the grant will pay for two additional officers and a part-time law enforcement administrative staff member that will allow the city to have an increased capacity to monitor and respond to 911. This funding will allow Cedartown Police Department to invest in technology like gunshot detection equipment, LPR (License Plate Recognition) cameras, computers, and additional technology for patrol officers and detectives to be used in the office and out in the field.

– The City of Cartersville will receive $221,760 to purchase taser certification bundles.

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