By Scott Harvey
Commerce – The Commerce Police Department will soon begin purchasing thousands of dollars in communications equipment for both the City's Emergency Operations Center and police force.
Commerce PD was awarded the non-matching $83,000 grant in November through the State Homeland Security Program, and last week given approval to begin purchasing items.
Officials have formulated a shopping list that includes $9,000 in laptops, an assortment of radio equipment, and GPS navigation systems, among other items.
Commerce Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Harrison says the new tools will greatly enhance communication capabilities both when the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is functional and for standards procedures. New mobile radio devices will allow Commerce officials to communicate with all emergency crews without switching radio frequencies, plus unique mapping software will help determine officer's locations during an emergency.
A major selling point in obtaining the grant were a number of in-kind items already purchased by the City of Commerce, including the $118,000 needed to build the City's EOC, which is located inside the Police and Fire Department, plus $30,000 spent on a 60kw generator.
All money spent on equipment from the grant by the City will be reimbursed shortly thereafter.