Alabama State Rep. Mike Hubbard secured multiple grants for Auburn’s Police and Fire Divisions early this week.
“Public safety is really a great place to send these grants because they’re out there servicing citizens everyday,” Hubbard said.
The most recent grant is for $10,000, which the Auburn Police Division will use to purchase new rain suits for all officers on patrol.
Chief Tommy Dawson says the new suits are a coat and pants set, which will ensure officers are dry while out in the rain.
“The [new suits] will keep the weapon much dryer and of course the pants will keep the entire bottom half of the officer dry,” Dawson said.
The previous rain jackets stopped mid-way between the knee and the ankle, which caused the officers’ feet and ankles to be constantly wet while in the rain.
The new suits are also reversible, Dawson said. One side is reflective so officers are clearly visible while directing traffic, and the other side is black if officers need to be concealed at night.
The Police Division received another $10,000 grant secured by Hubbard, which was used to purchase 90 LED flashlights.
“The flashlights give them something that’s versatile when they’re out at night,” Director of Public Safety Bill James said.
The new flashlights are brighter and have a longer battery life than the previous ones.
“They really need them because they’re high intensity,” Hubbard said.
The new flashlights have a battery life of up to 3 hours, while the old ones would only last 30 minutes.
“The lights will help a lot with directing traffic, especially after football games because [officers] are out there for two and a half to three hours sometimes, and these lights should last the whole time,” Dawson said. “They will also help the public see them more when they’re directing traffic.”
Hubbard also secured approximately $7800 for the Auburn Fire Division, which will be used to purchase a thermal imaging camera. These cameras are used to detect sources of heat.
“The thermal imager will help out a lot in that they can find heat sources either in walls or to sense body heat,” James said.
The fire division does not currently have thermal imagers in all of its trucks, and the purchase of more will ensure that less vehicles are required at the scene of a fire.
Last year, Hubbard secured a grant for the Auburn Fire Division, which they used to purchase a new radio system.
Hubbard describes the items as essential to the divisions, but without grant money would not be in their budgets.
“These are things that are used everyday, that benefit the public everyday, and I think it’s a good use of the tax-payers money,” he said.