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Purchase of law enforcement related equipment for rapid response, deescalation, crime prevention, and community engagement.

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $37,748)

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office’s portion of the grant will be utilized to purchase and deploy five ballistic shields. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office provides service to a county that is just under 1,400 square miles. Within Stearns County, there are 10 separate school districts, along with numerous private and charter schools. Stearns County is more urban on its far eastern end, with the remainder of the county being comprised of small towns and rural area. In the event of an active shooter situation at a school or business, Stearns County deputies would be among the first law enforcement personnel to arrive on scene. This purchase would allow the Sheriff’s Office to equip on-duty supervisors with a ballistic shield to respond to these events with enhanced protective capabilities. Stearns County will also allocate JAG funds for crime prevention and community engagement materials. The St. Cloud Police Department portion of the grant will be used to purchase a micro robot and crime prevention and community engagement materials. This throwable device enables operators to obtain instantaneous video and audio reconnaissance in a variety of situations when entry of officers may pose a risk to the officer, victims, a barricaded subject, or criminal offender. Once deployed, the robot can be directed to move through a structure and transmit real-time video and audio. These reconnaissance features can locate and identify subjects, confirm the presence of hostages, reveal the room layout, and obtain information that would be vital in successfully resolving a volatile situation, and more. These features allow officers to introduce a communications device that enhances not only the safety of officers but the safety of the subjects they encounter without direct interdiction of the offices in a potentially dangerous environment. The ability to gather information in situations where the forced introduction of officers may compromise safety for all involved is vitally important to resolving matters with as little force as is necessary.

Date Created: September 25, 2023