Officials said that the Kingsport Police Department has received much-needed equipment and training thanks to federal funds of more than $100,000.
The American Rescue Plan Act funds were approved by the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Alderman last year and the department received $104,900.
KPD Commander Sean Chambers stated that ARPA funds allowed us to purchase training and other equipment that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to. We will use the vast majority of this equipment to make our job easier and safer than it is now.
From a first round funding, the city received $5 million in federal funds in November. The city will receive an additional $5 million in federal funding in May. The board recently discussed how to spend this money.
The police department was able send an officer to Oak Ridge’s National Forensic Academy and purchase new equipment, such as indoor drones, headsets, and uniforms.
13 new headsets were purchased by the police department for the SWAT team. Officials said they will arrive in 10 months.
Tom Patton, the department’s public relations officer, stated that they are replacing equipment that is almost 10 years old.
The department also ordered 150 trauma kit, a purchase that was first.
The department issues combat tourniquets for every officer, but has not issued medical equipment like chest seals or trauma bandages. Patton stated. While many officers have purchased the equipment in the past on their own, it is the first time the department has provided it.
Other purchases included low-rise adapters for holsters, new uniforms that are lighter, wind and more water resistant, and additional mobile radar units.
The Justice Center also received new cameras. These cameras replaced the old ones and covered up blind spots.
The police department also purchased two new military-grade drones for use inside buildings. Both drones can be controlled by one pad. Users can switch between drones.
Patton stated that the police department has had a drone unit for years and has two drones. However, both drones cannot fly outside.
The new drones are changing that.
They are smaller than other types and are designed to fly indoors. They can be used to monitor and communicate in enclosed areas.