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FY23 Bethlehem City Local JAG

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $39,617)

The Bethlehem Police Department will utilize the funds from the 2023 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant of $39,617 to update and purchase computer hardware, software, and other peripherals. 

The Bethlehem Police Department handles approximately 58,000 calls for service per year.  All of these calls are documented through a digital records management system.  Patrol officers have the ability to receive the details of the call over their in-car computer (MDT), research the address for specific information, and write their reports on their MDTs.  The MDT in the patrol vehicle has been an extremely valuable asset in allowing the patrol officer the ability to make more efficient use of their time and to research information to better combat crime and serve the community.

Computers, both in car and desktop units, are now a necessity and are extremely useful tools for law enforcement officers.  The Bethlehem Police Department has 30 patrol vehicles equipped with MDTs and wireless routers.  Unfortunately some of these MDTs are at end of life and need to be replaced and new wireless routers are needed.  Loosing computer access in the field would be detrimental to the strides in progress the department has made over the years.  Funds from this grant will be used to modernize and upgrade MDTs and wireless routers in the patrol fleet.  This will allow patrol officers to effectively conduct work in the field without having to return to headquarters to access vital information.   

Updating the mobile computers in the vehicles and desktop computers in the station will allow officers to utilize the latest version of the department’s records management software (RMS).  This will allow officers to gather all of the pertinent data needed to maintain NIBRS compliance.  Once all of the data is gathered, the computers will be used to upload the data onto Pennsylvania’s NIBRS reporting system website.  Although only 3% of the grant funds are required to be allocated to activities that will assist in making the department NIBRS compliant, the Bethlehem Police Department will be using approximately 55% of our grant funds on updating computers, modems and supplies that will be used to enter and gather applicable data for NIBRS reporting.

Lastly, funds from the grant will be used for the continued purchase of software access for Power DMS.  This is a program that is used by the Department for accreditation, training, and document management.  This program can be accessed by officers through web-access, included via the MDTs installed in patrol vehicles.  This allows officers the ability to securely access Department directives and training material at any given time or place.  The software also allows the Department to participate in the accreditation process.  This provides legitimacy to the Department and oversight to best practices and procedures.  The Department has maintained international accreditation (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, CALEA) and state accreditation (Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, PLEAC) for numerous years, due in large part to the integration of these accrediting agencies with the Power DMS software.  It is anticipated that the Department will be able to achieve top level or gold standard accreditation during the current accreditation cycle from both the state and international agencies with the aid of Power DMS.

Date Created: September 22, 2023