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Vista Special Projects Grant

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $16,929)

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) allows states, tribes, and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime based on their own local needs and conditions. Grant funds can be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and information systems for criminal justice for any one or more of the following purpose areas: 1) law enforcement programs; 2) prosecution and court programs; 3) prevention and education programs; 4) corrections and community corrections programs; 5) drug treatment programs; 6) planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs; and 7) crime victim and witness programs (other than compensation).

With its $16,929 in Fiscal Year 2008 Local JAG funds, the city of Vista, California will enhance their support of the work of the Townsite Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) unit. This unit, in addition to working traditional COPPS projects, serves as the vice unit for the Vista Station. In this capacity, the unit, made up of six deputies and one sergeant, handles prostitution cases responds to Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) licensee issues (compliance checks, working with licensees to identify fake identifications, etc.); investigates the selling of drug paraphernalia and illegal knives; and conducts bike patrol in high-crime areas.

The JAG funds will be used for the following: 1) trainings for the COPPS unit, which will enable them to learn about emerging trends and investigative techniques that will assist them in both their work and in conducting presentations for community members; 2) replacement headlights for five of the police bicycles used by the unit; 3) quarterly maintenance of the nine bicycles used by the Vista Station; 4) a pilot test of the effectiveness of two different types of translation equipment. The 'Phraselator' will allow the user to pre-record statements that can then be played to subjects in the field. The 'Squid' will allow the officer and the subject to speak into the system in their native language and have the system translate what each has said. Each piece of equipment will be assigned to a specific deputy who will complete a brief analysis of the ease and effectiveness of using the equipment each time it is utilized; 5) a covert audio recorder and transmitter that will be used during special operations, including during ABC minor decoy operations. This will provide enhanced safety for both officers and decoys during their respective operations by allowing fellow officers to hear everything that is being said. In addition, it will provide a clear documentation of the activities of the operation; and 6) confidential funds will be used by the COPPS unit to enhance and expand its investigation in the areas of prostitution, the selling of drug paraphernalia and illegal knives, fake identification cards, and any other issues that emerge.


Date Created: August 12, 2008