Federally-funded grant program helps local law enforcement

From traffic safety equipment, to state-of-the-art Tasers to crime scene investigation tools, a federally-funded program has helped local law enforcement do their jobs safely and more efficiently.

Officially, it is known as the Iowa/Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant program and over the years, it has provided significant benefits to the Marshalltown Police and Marshall County Sheriff Departments.

The Marshalltown Police Department facilitates the program locally. Capt. Mike Hanken of the MPD said he prepared the 2017 application, and is working on the 2018 application earmarked for $20,765.

The MPD and MCSO use one-half, or $10,382.50 each for their needs.

It works like this: Both departments submit to Hanken details on how they would like to use their portion of the grant money.

“Included is a need, budget and use statement,” Hanken said. “Also included may be statistics which reinforces other parts of the application.”

Hanken said the MPD has used the program to purchase items they could not afford otherwise. Sheriff Steve Hoffman said the MCSO has used grant funds in recent years to purchase equipment which notifies drivers of their speed as well as to help analyze traffic data.

“If funded we will use a portion for roll-out of body cameras,” Hoffman said.

Hanken said the application is due 5 p.m. Aug. 22 and he expects confirmation some time in November.

The program was named for the late Edward Byrne, a New York City police officer killed in the line of duty in 1988. Byrne was killed while trying to protect immigrants who were going to testify against drug dealers.

At Monday night’s city council meeting, councilors voted unanimously to set a public hearing for Aug. 27. The purpose of the hearing is to listen to public comments regarding the Iowa/Byrne grant. For more information, contact Hanken at 641-754-5725, or mhanken@marshalltown-ia.gov.

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Contact Mike Donahey at

641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com