In the wake of getting a large grant for school safety training and resources last month from the U.S. Justice Department, the Revere Police Department announced this week that it received another grant from the state to supplement the grant – providing monies to help buy new laptop computers for all of the department’s cruisers.
Last week, Gov. Charlie Baker announced more than $1.3 million in federal Byrne JAG Grants, including $20,000 to the Revere Police for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure equipment. In layman’s terms, that means new laptops for all the cruisers, equipment that hasn’t been replaced in several years.
“The mayor and I both strongly agreed we needed to apply for both of these grants,” said Chief James Guido. “It’s mostly technology driven with some training. This $20,000 grant is going to help us to make the first response even better. These two grants taken together are going to morph us ahead of the game on school safety and being prepared…School safety is a big priority for us.”
Lt. Steven Ford said the new grant will allow officers responding to have the capability on their cruiser laptop to access building layouts and set up an initial command center quickly if there is ever an incident.
“We’ll have a better understanding,” he said. “The officer on the street will be able to get real time information for the school if there is an incident. That includes building layout plans instantly. Right now the laptops don’t have the capabilities to do what we want.”
Chief Guido said the grant would also allow the schools and police to identify who is in the buildings – who is coming and going – so that in an incident, they will know who has been in the buildings. With the laptops, that information can be obtained by any officer on the street instantly through cooperation with the schools.
“The opportunity came around for the second grant, and we were able to use it to piggy back on the first grant,” he said. “Together, they will enhance the entire program.”
Guido and Ford both said that Kathy Callahan, the Department’s grant writer, was instrumental in landing both grants.
“She’s an outstanding worker, and has been the driving force for many of the grants we’ve gotten over the years, including this one,” he said. “She truly is a dedicated employee and does outstanding work for us.”
Jonathan Ferrara of the School Department was also thanked for his efforts too.