The villages of Bethesda and Belmont will benefit from a total $147,344 grant for police vehicles, cameras and equipment. At the Thursday, March 23 Bethesda Village Council meeting, Police Chief Eric Smith announced both villages received a Safety Capital Grant that will provide a new cruiser and camera system for Belmont and a new cruiser equipped for a K-9 and equipment for Bethesda. Smith said he received confirmation of that Local Government Safety Capital grant had been awarded earlier that day.
Belmont Mayor Stan Sobel, Belmont VIllage Councilman Michael Murphy, and Street and Water Superintendent Kenny Davis attended the meeting. Belmont will receive a 2017 Ford Explorer SUV police cruiser, set up including lights from Progressive, a new radar unit, decals from Logotek, a first aid kit for the vehicle, and money to begin purchasing cameras to be placed throughout the village. Bethesda will also receive a 2017 Ford Explorer SUV, radar, decals, and a first aid kit, as well as a new radio, set up for a K-9, and a K-9 from Tri-State K-9 Association, and extra equipment for the K-9. Bethesda will also be adding to its camera system. Smith said the total project will be $186,000, with Bethesda providing matching funds of 10 percent for the portion of equipment they will receive and Belmont providing 10 percent matching funds for their portion.
Smith said a grant agreement will be drafted and sent to the village for officials from both villages to sign, before the grant funds will be disbursed. Council gave a round of applause and congratulated Smith on the grant. He noted that it was the second time that Bethesda had received a grant through that fund.
"I'd like to extended a thank you to Belmont Village Council for participating with our police department to make this happen," Bethesda Mayor Marty Lucas said.
"We're extremely pleased that this did happen," Mayor Sobel said, noting that the cameras are especially needed in Belmont. "We don't have any type of surveillance in our community and we've actually had arsons in our village. This will be a big boon to our community." He said the new cruiser is also needed as the current cruiser is "in bad shape, to say the least."
"On behalf of Belmont, I really appreciate working with Bethesda, and Chief Smith, and all the others that have helped make this a reality for us," Sobel said.
"We're both small communities and being so close together, the work we've done over the last year or so is nothing but a good thing for everybody involved," Mayor Lucas said. "We'd like to continue to work hand in hand with both villages," he said thanking Chief Smith for all his hard work.
An officer on the police department that provides support to the Union Local School District said he was particularly excited about the K-9 and that it will be very beneficial and is needed in the community.
The Bethesda police department also covers Belmont, Morristown, Goshen Township, Union Township and the Union Local School District.