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Promotion of Superior Public Safety Communication Services

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $249,352)

The Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program (Byrne Competitive Program) will help communities improve the capacity of state and local justice systems and provide for national support efforts including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs. This competitive grant announcement focuses on initiatives in eight areas: 1) preventing and reducing violent crime through community-based data-driven approaches; 2) providing funding for neighborhood-based probation and parole officers; 3) reducing mortgage fraud and crime related to vacant properties; 4) hiring of civilian support personnel in law enforcement (training staff, analysts, dispatchers, etc.); 5) enhancing forensic and crime scene investigations; 6) improving resources and services for victims of crime; 7) supporting problem-solving courts; and 8) national training and technical assistance partnerships.

Under category 4, the city of Apache Junction, in coordination with the Apache Junction Police Department, will use the grant award to hire civilian law enforcement staff. The goal of this project is to increase the Apache Junction Police Department's telecommunications efficiency, thereby improving the functioning of the local and regional criminal justice system. To accomplish this goal, the city and the police department will use funds to hire two dispatchers for the police communications center. Currently, the communications center is understaffed, which has resulted in the inability of staff members to take breaks, resulted in solo staff on some shifts, and led to a lack of safety and security for officers and citizens, with citizens experiencing busy signals or excessive rings on 911 and with critical incidents not being handled efficiently. The two positions will be used exclusively for answering 911 and nonemergency phone calls and performing all dispatch duties, and would allow the increased efficiency and effectiveness of interoperability with other jurisdictions and permit proper coverage of the P25 multijurisdictional radio channel. The dispatcher positions will enable the department to better participate in multijurisdictional details. These ventures require coordination with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Maricopa and Pinal County Sheriff's Departments, Phoenix Police, Mesa Police, and Apache Junction Fire District. Further, coordination will occur with the Topaz Regional Wireless Cooperative and Phoenix Regional Wireless Network.


Date Created: September 7, 2009