Grants Help Maintain High Standards of Public Safety
Every Bloomfield Township Police Officer in uniform is required to wear a bullet proof vest. These life saving vests cost money. Enter the BVP Program. The purpose of the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program is to reimburse states, counties, federally recognized tribes, cities, and local jurisdictions up to 50% of the cost of body armor vests purchased for law enforcement officers. Since 1999, over 13,000 jurisdictions have participated in the BVP Program, with a total of $548 million in federal funds for the purchase of over 1.4 million vests.
Grants such as this are essential to police and fire maintaining the highest levels of service in the state. “Researching and applying for eligible grants is critical to funding infrastructure that keeps our officers safe, our residents safe, upholds transparency in policing, and educates and trains our staff,” said Police Chief James Gallagher.
The Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority has awarded Risk Avoidance Programs (RAP Grants) that fund innovative projects and tools with a goal of assisting members in addressing their risk management challenges. In an effort to extend opportunities for funding assistance, the Board of Directors added Certification and Accreditation Program (CAP) grants in 2015. Through approved CAP grants, MMRMA supports members by helping them fund leadership, education, training and authorized certification and accreditation programs. MMRMA also assisted with paying for dash cameras in every police vehicle and body cameras for every officer. Both are vital to ensuring transparency between officers and residents.
A recent grant that has been a huge success within the department has been the ability to hire Co-Responder Clinician Hillary Nusbaum through a partnership with Oakland County Health Network. Nusbaum is a social worker who splits time between Auburn Hills, Birmingham, the Township and thanks to a new grant with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – the City of Rochester specializing in cases related to mental health. Thanks to the new grant, a second social worker will be added soon to assist in these communities. Social workers have training in dealing with mental health crises that police officers do not. Helping officers to work with repeat calls for service and guide individuals suffering mental health issues towards help they need.
“To stay up to standard at today’s cost is extremely expensive, so if there is money available through grants, we work hard to get it,” said Assistant Fire Chief Matt DeRousse. Through FEMA Grants such as the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program, BTFD has found money to help pay for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatuses (SCBA), extractors, and diesel exhaust removal systems at all fire stations. Extractors are washing machines that remove hazardous and toxic chemicals from the personal protection gear firefighters wear. This reduces the risk of cancer and lengthens the shelf-life of gear.
“Since 2005, Bloomfield Township Fire Department has received 1.7 million dollars in federal grants as part of our ongoing goal to find money to assist in purchases amidst inflation,” said Fire Chief John LeRoy. “A recent key grant assisted with the purchase of seven cardiac monitors which retail at approximately $30,000 each.” Grants also assisted in the purchase of a new Special Operations and Response (SOAR) Truck. This truck has many special features including the ability to refill the air tanks of SCBA’s and holds HAZMAT gear.
Grants allow the safest communities to stay safe by providing and assisting in the purchases of materials and training that allow public safety officers to go above and beyond. The gear and devices purchased with grant money help contribute to making Bloomfield Township one of the safest communities in Michigan.
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