Monday, July 23, 2012

Grant Will Aid Overtime Patrols, New Police Dog

Sometimes it pays off to do things together.

That's what Pottstown and Norristown found out when they joined forces this year to apply for a Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) from the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced Tuesday that Norristown and Pottstown will receive $57,116 from the program.

Pottstown Police Sgt. Mick Markovich with "Marko."
A federal grant will help purchase a new police dog
for Pottstown as well as pay for quality of life efforts.

Pottstown Police Chief Mark Flanders wrote in an e-mail to The Mercury that Pottstown's share -- $19,425 -- will be used to acquire a Patrol/Narcotics K9 to replace Sgt. Mick Markovich’s dog (Marko) who retired late last year.

Further,  the money will also be used "to fund overtime for our part in the DA’s Quality of Life Initiative," Flanders wrote.

In 2008, District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman pledged to assist the borough in handling quality of life and code enforcement prosecutions.

Montgomery County’s Operation Clean Sweep program, announced in September 2008, is an initiative designed to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in the borough by eliminating neighborhood blight and deterioration.

Ferman previously called it the “broken windows theory,” explaining physical deterioration of a neighborhood with things like graffiti and unkempt properties encourage crime.

“This grant will help Norristown and Pottstown’s brave law enforcement officers battle crime and keep the residents safe,” Senator Casey said. “Police officers and first responders in the region are working hard to fight crime, and these funds will bolster that effort.”

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) Program can be used for a variety of efforts such as hiring law enforcement officers; supporting drug and gang task forces; funding crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and supporting courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information-sharing initiatives.

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