ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — The Enterprise Police Department will soon have a boost to its arsenal after winning a nearly $21,000 federal grant, according to a city press release.
The news came after Gov. Kay Ivey approved the grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, informing Mayor William Cooper this week that the EPD’s application had gone through.
Lt. Billy Haglund applied for the grant last fall to get more patrol rifles, radar detectors, and a ballistic shield for officers to use. The release states that with this equipment, officers will be better able to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of citizens.
“The EPD’s goal is to have all officers equipped with a patrol rifle to enhance safety and enforcement capabilities,” it states. “Radar detectors are an ongoing need, since they are used to help officers monitor traffic and enforce traffic laws that keep the driving public safe. With the capability of stopping rifle rounds, the new ballistic shield can be used in a variety of dangerous situations that officers may face.”
The JAG program administers funds to local and state law enforcement in memory of an officer who was killed on Feb. 26, 1988, while protecting a witness to a drug crime.
“Officer Byrne was in his patrol car outside the witness’ home around 3:30 a.m. when two armed gunmen crept up to his car from both sides,” the program’s website says. “One of the men knocked on the passenger-side window to distract Officer Byrne just as a second perpetrator ran up to the driver’s side window and, without uttering a sound, opened fire. Officer Byrne was shot five times in the head.”
For nearly 20 years, the program has served as the main source of funding from the U.S. Department of Justice to the jurisdictions.
To administer the new funds, Ivey directed the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to prepare the documents needed to put the grant into place.
You can read more about Officer Edward Byrne and the program in his honor by following this link.