The Walnut Ridge City Council passed two resolutions regarding grant funding for the police department at a special meeting on Thursday.
Council members authorized a grant for patrol vehicle computer equipment that had been pre-approved in 2020, but was not awarded until this fiscal year.
The grant, which is awarded through the Arkansas State Police, is funded by the Arkansas Department of Transportation.
“We put in for it last year,” Mayor Charles Snapp said. “We didn’t get it last year, but then we got notice that they put it in and gave it to us, so we had to redo paperwork to allocate the funds.”
Bryan Archer with the WRPD said the grant will fund equipment for all nine patrol vehicles.
Snapp noted that the equipment includes computers and new body cameras.
Archer said the new equipment will improve efficiency and safety in the field.
“If we pull someone over and they don’t have a driver’s license, we can put in name and date of birth and it pulls up a picture of them,” he said. “We can run a tag and it gives us information on the vehicle and if its been stolen or stopped by other officers.”
He said the equipment allows officers to input traffic stop information directly into the computer and print a citation on site.
“It cuts down the time you are sitting on the side of the road on a traffic stop,” Archer said, which also improves safety. “It will cut the average stop down from about 10 minutes to about six minutes.”
The council also passed a resolution to file for a grant through the USDA to purchase a police car and a truck for police department use.