Albany, Dougherty Co. police departments apply for federal funds

Albany, Dougherty Co. police departments apply for federal funds

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - During a time when COVID-19 has increased costs in Dougherty County, both Albany and the county police departments hope a yearly grant will replenish their funds.

Albany Police Chief Michael Persley said they apply for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant every year.

“We’ve applied for this grant for the last 10 years. So this will just be a grant that will help us with some equipment and training that we want to do with the department,” said Persley.

If the Albany Police Department’s (APD) application is approved, the money will be split between the departments.

“It’s an 80-20 split, and once we apply for it, it’s approved by the county and city commissioners,” said Chief Kenneth Johnson with the Dougherty County Police Department (DCP).

APD would get over $67,000 and DCP would get about $13,500.

In the past, the money has gone towards things such as training, body cams and even community programs.

But during a pandemic, both agencies said the money is needed more now than ever.

“The federal grant is money that we’ve been given by the federal government to offset the budget in times of need. With COVID-19, you have people who are not working, or able to pay their property tax, and it’s cutting back on the budget as far as the city and county goes, but this is free money,” said Johnson.

Free money, Persley pointed out, that will better help officers serve the community.

“The return of the investment that citizens get is the service that we give. We don’t get it right all the time, but for the majority of the time, we do. And when we do miss the mark, we look for those opportunities to approve and be better at what we do,” said Persley.

The city and county commissioners are set to vote on the grant application in the coming weeks.

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