Kenai Police Lt. Ben Langham demonstrates how police prepare evidence for storage at Kenai Police Department headquarters on Thursday. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Police Lt. Ben Langham demonstrates how police prepare evidence for storage at Kenai Police Department headquarters on Thursday. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai receives safety grants

Kenai police and fire departments will be seeing some upgrades thanks to a grant from the State Homeland Security Program.

At Wednesday night’s Kenai City Council meeting, the council accepted and appropriated $120,350 from a grant provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, through Alaska’s Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs.

The program provides funding to states to support preparedness.

The funds will be used to purchase a security camera system and replacement radios, according to a memo from Kenai Police Chief David Ross.

Of the total grand money appropriated, $65,000 will be used to purchase the security camera system, which will cover the Kenai Public Safety Building on S. Willow Street. The building, which houses the police department, the fire department, the dispatch center and Kenai’s data center, is deemed critical to Kenai’s infrastructure.

The city will purchase portable radios with the remaining $55,350.

“The portable radios currently in use are nearing the end of this maintenance life,” Ross said. “This grant will replace approximately twenty percent of the public safety portable radios.”

The Homeland Security Program grants do not require a monetary match from the city.

“I appreciate the effort by our police chief and our fire chief for the work that they put in to get this grant, because it is very substantial and it goes a long way,” Kenai Mayor Peter Gabriel said. “I know these radios are expensive, and they do take a beating. They need to be replaced. When you need them you need them, that’s vital equipment.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at ksorensen@peninsulaclarion.com.

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