The city of Jonesboro recently received three new grants that will provide about $250,000 in equipment and provisions for the Jonesboro Police Department that are intended to keep officers and the public safer.
JPD’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Projects is a program to help reduce the number of collisions on city streets and highways, Mayor Harold Copenhaver said. The $132,900 project will be paid for with a $82,900 federal grant, a $5,000 state grant and $45,000 from city coffers.
As traffic-related crashes rose last year, the goal of this project is to decrease crashes and fatalities in Craighead County, he said. The project focuses on motorists wearing seatbelts, alcohol-related crashes, and speed reduction.
“We all across Arkansas have to be committed to safe driving, because there are so many distractions – from cell phones to DUIs to simply driving faster than conditions allow,” Copenhaver said. “Chief Elliott, our police patrols and engineers are constantly monitoring our driving habits around town and continue to make changes where needed. We won’t stop now.”
Another award presented to the mayor is a $48,547 grant, which requires no match from the city, from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance program. The grant can be used for a variety of needs, ranging from property acquisition or improvement to implementing programs to deal with chemical and drug labs.
The third grant, for bulletproof vests, is $67,386 including a 50% match by the city.
“A vest has a lifespan of about five years, so we keep a good rotation of bulletproof vests to help ensure the safety of our officers,” Police Chief Rick Elliott said. “These grants are critical for us.”