County commissioners accepted a grant from the Office of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division on behalf of the Hays County Sheriff’s Office during their Sept. 18 meeting.
Grants Administrator Jeff Hauff said the $28,970 grant will go toward the purchase of new equipment. The grant will provide night vision recording equipment for the Narcotics Task Force and three laptop computers for booking areas within the jail. It will also allow for the purchase of audio and visual equipment for interview rooms in a Dripping Springs substation.
“We have been notified of the award of this grant and staff recommend the approval of the award,” Hauff said.
The sheriff’s office will use the electronic recording devices to provide evidence in trials by capturing confession statements of suspects. The night vision cameras will record evidence to be used in court and have the ability to record, videotape and photograph under low lighting.
The laptops bought for booking areas will be used to expedite the time officers spend filling out paper work. This extra time will allow officers in the sheriff’s office to be free to patrol, according to court documents.
Judge Bert Cobb spoke of the work put in to awarding the grant.
“Mr. Hauff has been very diligent in figuring out these grants,” Cobb said. “This is one that comes straight to the county, and we appreciate the work on that.”
Commissioners decided to apply for the grant in their meeting Feb. 21. The grant period is effective until March 31, 2013.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe said the grant would not be matched by funds from the county.