Police Receive Grant for Computers and Equipment

BELLAIRE – Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk received good news about his department recently.

Kovalyk informed council Thursday that nearly two years after the police department applied for a technology grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he received word the grant had been approved.

Kovalyk and Lt. Donna Baroch recently met with Christine Crowell and Jerry Backus from the USDA. The government officials informed Kovalyk his department was awarded a grant totaling roughly $16,000 for computers and related equipment.

“We need to get a few more specs for the grant before we know the grand total,” Kovalyk said. “It’s a 75-25 matching grant.”

Kovalyk believes total funds, including the village’s portion, will provide four computers, a server, monitors, printers, installation, maintenance, wiring and all the necessary hardware and software updates.

“They told us we are only the second grant that was awarded in an 18-county area,” Kovalyk said. “So we are real fortunate, and we appreciate the help they have given us.”

At minimum, the new equipment will lessen the technology headaches that have increased in the department, especially recently as server and modem issues have caused problems.

The department originally started taking full advantage of technology in 2006, thanks to a program ran through the Ohio Chief of Police Association. The grant will provide the first major upgrade in six years.

In other department business, Kovalyk passed out the departmental statistics for the month of April.

Nearly 150 parking tickets were written for the month, as well as 13 illegal parking tickets. They generated $323 and $340, respectively.

A total of 14 traffic citations were issued with 10 winding up in mayor’s court and the other four in Belmont County Eastern Division Court.

Twenty-three general arrests were made, 14 coming directly from open warrants. Five crashes were reported, and there were a total of 321 calls to dispatch the department through Belmont County 911.