Grant money helps with jail expenses

TUPELO – A new grant will help lighten Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson’s budget load.
The $85,000 Byrne Law Enforcement Assistance Grant will allow the sheriff’s department to buy a new patrol vehicle and computer, along with electronic equipment and some video equipment, according to Johnson.
He said even though all these things are a necessity for the department to operate, he couldn’t afford them without the grant.
“It’s no secret that these are hard financial times and the county is no exception,” said Johnson. “This money will allow us to keep our budget intact and still be able to get the things we need to run the department.”
The Byrne Grant is noncompetitive, which means the department does not have to compete with other agencies to get it. It also is a 100 percent grant, so no matching funds are needed.
Since Johnson was elected in 2004, the sheriff’s department has been awarded more than $3 million in grants. That money has purchased equipment, provided training, allowed for the hiring of more officers and other personnel and helped with the overall operating cost of the jail.
“It would be almost impossible for us to operate without these grants,” said Johnson. “They are out there to benefit law enforcement and we try to take full advantage of them.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal