By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Police will once again use federal Justice Assistance Grant money to help support the department’s wish list.
Town Council approved the acceptance of the money, approximately $19,580, at a meeting July 9.
The money is traditionally used to help police make purchases of law enforcement equipment or systems that are beyond the department’s ability to pay.
In past years, the grant money has been used to purchase ballistic plates to enhance bulletproof vests and for thermal imaging cameras.
This year grant money is earmarked for one project — an in-car video upgrade project.
Police Chief Edward Garone told councilors the video upgrades would serve the department well, saying the cameras are useful in the prosecution of criminal offenders and also put any false accusations brought against officers to rest.
“It would also save us considerable manpower,” Garone said.
Now, he said, it takes time to bring the cruiser and camera back to the station and have the date downloaded. Upgrades would speed that process along.
The camera upgrades would include installation of new high-definition cameras, new high-fidelity microphones and a server system allowing digital media to be stored efficiently.
The new cameras and microphones will produce more detailed images and recordings that will be better when presenting evidence for court and prosecution purposes.
The grant money will be broken down with $6,590 going toward the purchase of two in-car cameras, $400 will buy two in-car wireless kits, and $9,737 will buy hardware and software required for the upgrades.
Another $2,500 will buy technical services provided by WatchGuard to help set up and test the systems and train personnel.
These purchases are only part of the police goal of upgrading all 11 of the camera systems in the department. It will be a good start toward a total upgrade, Garone said.
“This is preparing us for the future,” he said. “It helps us avail ourselves to this new technology.”