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Ogdensburg police net $54,722 grant for equipment purchases

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OGDENSBURG — The Ogdensburg Police Department is moving ahead with equipment purchases made possible by a $54,722 grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security.

The money, part of the 2011 Operation Stonegarden Program that aims to increase collaboration among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in international border regions, will be used to outfit the department with equipment and training to enable it to work more closely with U.S. Border Patrol.

Police Chief Richard J. Polniak Jr. said the department will be purchasing equipment over the next several months.

Mr. Polniak said the department will not make public what some of the equipment purchases are, but two marked police cars will be outfitted with updated radar systems and one vehicle will be fitted with a new license plate reader. The force also will have an equipment trailer added to its lineup that will allow members to bring gear more easily to the scene of roadblocks and accidents.

“We work hand in hand with Border Patrol,” Mr. Polniak said.

Some of the money will be put toward better surveillance equipment for the department that will help facilitate the interagency cooperation, Mr. Polniak said.

He said the funding will allow the department’s officers “who are knowledgeable about the area, who the players are,” to have a more significant role in assisting federal agencies with border protection activities.

The funding had been delayed since 2011 due to a mismatch between the city’s budget timeline and federal procurement regulations the police department had to follow as part of the grant. The city adjusted its 2014 budget to reflect the grant funds at last week’s City Council meeting.

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