Police dept. buys gas masks

FLINT TWP. — Similar to military personnel, police officers can face a variety of situations involving breathing hazards.

So a recent request from the Flint Township Police Department to purchase 14 Millennium gas masks was unanimously approved by the township board.

A purchase order indicated the costs of the masks is $5,572.24. They will be purchased from C.M.P. Distributors Inc. of Lansing, which specializes in law enforcement equipment. The order includes 12 medium-sized masks and two small sizes to fit officers with smaller heads. Each mask costs $398.16.

No details were given about the masks or how they will be used but industry providers describe them as military-style masks suitable for riot control, military warfare, and defense against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) threats. The highperformance masks are designed to neutralize contaminants.

The purchase is financed by funds leftover from the 2011 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) which is administered by the U.S. Bureau of Justice (BJA).

Each year, the JAG Program provides states, tribes, and local governments with grants to support a variety of needs including law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, technology improvement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.

Since JAG’s inception in 2005, the BJA has processed more than 13,000 local and 400 state applications for grant funding totaling more than $5 billion, according to the BJA. Of that total, about $3 billion went to states and territories and $1.8 billion to local units of government.

JAG allocations are derived from a formula based on violent crime statistics and population size. Sixty percent of the annual allocation calculated goes to the state and 40 percent to local units of government.

In Fiscal Year 2012, BJA processed 1,128 local and 56 state applications totaling more than $287 million in JAG funding – approximately $193.8 million to states and territories and $93.6 million to local units of government.

Genesee County’s 2012 JAG allocation of $226,615 was divided among five eligible municipalities — the cities of Burton and Flint, the townships of Flint and Mt. Morris and Genesee County.

The Flint Township Police Department announced plans to use $24,208 of its $27,208 allocation to purchase equipment and technology. The remaining $3,000 went to pay overtime for a clerk to handle JAG paperwork, which the Flint Township Police Department administers.

ALSO, JAG funds allocated to the county prosecutor’s office was spent on permanent prescription drop-off boxes placed throughout the county including the one in the lobby of the Flint Township Police Department.

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