Arkansas funded grants totaling more than $7 million dollars were awarded today to 113 local and state law enforcement agencies and correctional or detention facilities.
Approximately 90 percent of the total funds will be received by local police and sheriff's departments to purchase new equipment.
The grants were authorized last year through legislation adopted by Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas General Assembly. Act 786 sanctioned the Public Safety Equipment Grant Program to the administered by the Arkansas Department of Public Safety and provides for grants to be used for purchasing, “non-lethal equipment that aids in improving trust and relationships between law enforcement agencies, detention centers and corrections agencies within their communities that they serve.”
"One of the key recommendations of our Task Force to Advance the State of Law Enforcement in Arkansas was the creation of state funding for increased training and improving the safety equipment used by local law enforcement officers,” stated Governor Hutchinson. “The grants directed to local law enforcement agencies will help to further the trust between these agencies and the communities they serve, and I want to commend the Department of Public Safety and the General Assembly for bringing this program to fruition,” said the governor.
The grant applications submitted earlier this year were reviewed and graded for distribution by a committee selected from a cross-section of state and local law enforcement officers, correction and detention officers and professional laypersons.
Ashdown and Texarkana, Arkansas, Police Departments each received $100,000 grants.