Grants help Salisbury Police Department buy new equipment

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
The Salisbury Police Department recently received two grants for equipment that will make officers’ jobs much more efficient.
The traffic reconstruction equipment and storage trailer was made possible through a grant from the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
The first grant was for $12,090 and paid for the storage trailer.
“There was no cost to the city,” Sgt. Andy Efird said.
Efird works with the department’s Professional Standards division, but was assigned to traffic safety unit at the time he applied for the grants.
The trailer bought with the first grant will be used to store equipment such as cones, temporary signs, a generator, scene lights, flashlights with safety wands and reflective safety vests.
Efird said the trailer has department decals on it and the department is waiting for other equipment to arrive.
The second $12,000 grant covered most of the cost of crash reconstruction equipment, with Salisbury paying $3,000.
The equipment includes a laser.
The grant also provides for computer software that will create a 3-D drawing of accident scenes.
The department also received a Light Detection and Ranging device, or what is commonly called LIDAR, which uses radar technology to more precisely determine speed or distance.
All patrol vehicles are equipped with lasers, but the handheld version, “will allow us to do speed enforcement in areas where traditional radar couldn’t. This will be more precise,” Efird said.
The handheld LIDAR is pointed directly an object ó in this case a car ó and when an officer squeezes the trigger, the device gives the distance and speed of the car, Efird explained.
With the new equipment, he said, the department will also be able to assist other local departments that don’t have this type of technology.
An added benefit of the new instruments are that the Salisbury Police Department won’t have to call in engineers from other departments to help reconstruct traffic collisions.
“We won’t have to tie up other departments, we’ll be able to do it ourselves,” Efird said.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.

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