City Commissioners approved two municipal orders Tuesday allowing the Owensboro Police and Fire departments to apply for grants in the amounts of $259,674 and $214,481, respectively. Both applications will be filed with the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.
OPD’s grant application is for the purchase of a tactical multipurpose response and rescue vehicle for the department’s Emergency Response Team.
Though Police Chief Art Ealum said he wasn’t sure about OPD’s chances in receiving the grant, he said the vehicle would hold up to 12 fully-equipped ERT officers responding to a major emergency. In a worst-case scenario, that might involve an event such as a school shooting, he said.
“Also, the beauty of it is, we could transport up to 20 civilians if we had to evacuate them from a dangerous situation, or even natural-type disasters,” Ealum said.
Ealum described the vehicle as armored and weighing about 17,500 pounds.
OFD’s grant application is for the purchase of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive detection equipment and protective gear.
OFD Battalion Chief Colter Tate said the grant would cover several pieces of equipment that would expand OFD’s capabilities.
“(It would help) our Regional Hazardous Materials Team with detection and identification of hazardous materials,” he said.
The grant would include training for the equipment and would not require OFD to hire more staff, Tate said.
Neither grant would require a local match from the City, which Mayor Tom Watson said would make both of the grants more competitive.