Sheriff's plans for funds get approval

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By SCOTT PESZNECKER

The Calaveras County Sheriff's Department yesterday secured the Board of Supervisors' approval to use grant money to beef up its anti-terrorism measures.

The department can also seek more grant money to enforce off-highway vehicle regulations.

The sheriff's department received two state grants in April a Domestic Preparedness Equipment grant for $134,304, and a Homeland Security grant for $45,247.

With the Domestic Preparedness Equipment money, Calaveras County Sheriff Dennis Downum will buy two "mobile decontamination trailers" stocked with chemical suits, boots, gloves, portable showers, first aid kids and pop-up shelters.

That grant money will also pay for protective equipment and portable respirators for county law enforcement, fire and public health personnel, and improved equipment to identify unknown chemicals.

With the Homeland Security grant, Downum will buy a multi-agency command trailer and an improved county radio system for large-scale emergencies.

Homeland grant money will also pay for tests on the county's communications system and a study on how to best respond to incidents where hazardous materials and explosives are involved.

Supervisors yesterday also gave Downum permission to apply for a $73,000 state off-highway-vehicle grant.

Downum said the money would fund a deputy sheriff's position to enforce off-highway vehicle use regulations. The deputy would also respond to accidents, medical emergencies and search-and-rescue operations.

The sheriff's department enforced OHV rules in Calaveras County last year with the help of two off-highway vehicle grants that totaled $73,000.

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The Union Democrat
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