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Police department to get a boost with grants

| Monday, Nov. 4, 2002

The Cranberry Township Police Department is getting a boost from two grants worth a total of almost $20,000.

A $9,800 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development will enable the department to store its accident reconstruction and crime scene securement equipment in one space; a second grant of $10,000 from the same state agency will be applied to police department plans for a public safety training facility.

Public safety director Stephen Mannell said the first grant will be used to purchase a trailer where the equipment can be stored.

"We have bits all over the place," Mannell said. "We have a storeroom full of stuff. Every time we need it, we've got to load and unload a car. Now, we'll be able to just hook up a trailer and take it where we are going."

Lt. Jeff Schueler said the department has equipment scattered in various places. The department already has much of the equipment that will be used, he said.

Police officers will be able to haul accident reconstruction equipment to the scene, Mannell said. The accident reconstruction equipment could be used to assist other police departments in Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties, Mannell said. The trailer will be set up so it also can be used as a small office and command post area, which can be equipped with a radio.

The trailer could be purchased in the next month, Schueler said.

For accident scene reconstruction, the department has lights and survey equipment. Schueler said the department plans to purchase a power generator to be put in the trailer to run portable lighting, tools and traffic signals during power failures, as well as other tools and equipment for traffic crash investigations.

Some of the department's educational materials and supplies for community relations programs would be stored in the trailer, too.

The second grant will be used to do engineering work for a future fire and police training facility.

Mannell said the training areas might not be ready until 2005. The area would be used for training and to practice smoke rescues.

The training area will be near the new $2.7 million public works building, which is along Ernie Mashuda Drive.

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