Thanks to a recently received grant, the Houston Police Department has the means to improve the safety of its officers.
The grant of $6,171 was provided by the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, administered through the U.S. Department of Justice’s bureau of justice assistance and the Missouri Department of Public Safety, contingent on a 10 percent match by the City of Houston.
Chief Jim McNiell said the money would be used for several forms of officer safety equipment, including outfitting a patrol car with a “cage” for the transporting of prisoners, as well as the purchase of bullet-proof vests, rechargeable flashlights, red-light bars and handcuffs.
“It’s going to help us update some of the equipment we have and address some areas where we’re lacking,” McNiell said.
The cage creates a barrier between the officer at the wheel and the person in the back of patrol car.
“If we get someone who’s combative, it contains them,” McNiell said. “That just cuts down on damage to property and protects the officer.”
McNiell said the grant had been being pursued since last August.