Penn Hills gets Department of Justice grant - Plum

Penn Hills gets Department of Justice grant

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 | 1:54 PM

Penn Hills is slated to receive a $51,000 grant through a federal Department of Justice coronavirus emergency supplemental fund, announced U.S. Attorney Scott Brady’s office Wednesday.

The DOJ funded its Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program with $850 million in early April, shortly after President Trump signed a $2 trillion stimulus package.

Brady said in April $1.4 million of that money was available to communities throughout Western Pennsylvania. Another $17.6 million in grants that can be distributed to agencies throughout the state was awarded to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Brady said.

The $51,000 grant to Penn Hills is to be used to respond to the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of covid-19. Covered expenses include new hiring and overtime pay, training, critical personal protective equipment and supplies, and medical needs of prisoners, according to a press release.

Penn Hills police Chief Howard Burton said the grant will be spent on personal protective equipment for officers, such as masks, gowns, gloves and face shields. A portion of the money will also be used to buy an ionized sprayer, which will be used to disinfect surfaces in the police station and the department’s vehicles.

Burton said another portion will be used to convert two of the station’s waiting rooms into storage units. Those units will store all the equipment being bought through the grant, he said.

Another portion of the grant will be used to fund training for the police department’s officers on communicable diseases.

“The men and women on the front line of this pandemic deserve our deepest appreciation for answering the call to serve regardless of the danger,” Brady said. “I am hopeful this $51,535 from the Justice Department will help Penn Hills police officers in their public safety duties while also ensuring their own health and safety.”

Brady encouraged all local law enforcement agencies to apply for grants.

Penn Hills Manager Scott Andrejchak was thankful to receive the grant.

“This funding is crucial to Penn Hills Police Department’s preparedness and response to coronavirus,” Andrejchak said.