|San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added - May 2010
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County gets another chance at COPS grant
San Jacinto News- Times
COLDSPRING – San Jacinto County will get another chance at obtaining a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant. The San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Department was among more than 6,000 agencies that applied for the grant in 2009. At that time, funding for only 500 applicants was available. “We put in for it but did not get a grant last year,” San Jacinto County Sheriff James Walters reminded San Jacinto County Commissioners’ Court. “I received an email last week informing me that our application was still on fi le and that more money is available this year for the grant. All we need to do is update our fi gures for 2010,” Walters said. Walters said the grant will pay for the salary and benefi ts for an offi cer or offi cers for three years provided the county keeps the employee for at least one year after that. Walters said the Department of Justice is not taking new applications. “They are trying to take care of those left out last year as far as the new funding will go,” San Jacinto County Judge Fritz Faulkner added. Walters said he would adjust the fi gures for 2010 and get the new fi gures to the Department of Justice with the court’s approval. In other business concerning grants, commissioners voted to decline a $28,000 Recovery Act Grant. Although the county got approval for the grant, no funds have been received. “We would have to hire a person to administer the grant due to the reporting requirements,” Faulkner said. “We should have asked for $24,999 instead of $28,000. There are no reporting requirements for under $25, 000,” Faulkner said. Commissioners tabled a vote to approve a revised drug and alcohol policy for the county pending further study by a committee. “The committee needs to meet on this and be in agreement with it and the policy needs to be reviewed by the county attorney before a vote is made,” Faulkner said. A certified departmental detectors training class was approved and scheduled for May 13 for county elected officials and department heads. The $750 class will train for reasonable suspicion testing for drugs and alcohol. Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Beth Sewell discussed an online payment system for her department. “This would enable me to better serve the people paying traffic citations. Those citations could be paid online 24 hours, seven days per week or they could pay with a debit card by telephone,” Sewell said. Noting that Sewell’s proposal did not say anything about the cost, Faulkner said, “I’m all in favor of adding the convenience but I want to see the cost first.” A vote was tabled pending more information.