Project funding announced during CAWACO meeting



Oneonta Police Lt. Steve Gunn explains the different weapons used in ‘Shoot- Don’t Shoot’ scenarios.

Oneonta Police Lt. Steve Gunn explains the different weapons used in ‘Shoot- Don’t Shoot’ scenarios.

During the quarterly CAWACO meeting last Wednesday, the Blount County Commission, the CAWACO Resource Conservation and Development Council, Rep. David Standridge, and Sen. Scott Beason announced the funding of three Blount County-based projects – training equipment for the Oneonta Police Department, up-to-date equipment for Project Lifesaver, and preserving genealogical information for the Blount County Memorial Museum.

The Oneonta Police Department received a grant to assist in funding training equipment for “Shoot-Don’t Shoot” scenarios. This funding allows for real-life training involving paintball weapons used to simulate live-fire shooting which provides instant feedback with no risk of injury. All equipment is similar to weapons used in real-time situations.

“Training with something you actually carry is critical in law enforcement,” said Lt. Steve Gunn. “This training will show whether or not our tactics are being utilized effectively.”

The Oneonta Police Department was approved for a $24,250 grant from the Alabama Department of Homeland Security for other training equipment to expand their training program. The approximately $4,000 grant announced at the meeting will enhance the equipment received through the ALDHS grant. The City of Oneonta has also donated a 4.5 acre plot of land worth approximately $30,000 for the public safety departments of Oneonta to use as a multi-purpose training facility.

Another grant was awarded to the Cleveland Volunteer Fire Department for Project Lifesaver – a program that provides tracking devices for Alzheimer patients. Cleveland VFD and the Blount County Sheriff’s Department coordinate together to organize this program, and it is operated through donations only.

With Project Lifesaver’s reserved funds, the provided $5,000 grant will help to offer the program more funds to buy improved up-to-date equipment.

A $1,000 grant was also announced for the Blount County Memorial Museum and the Blount County Historical Society to assist in preserving all genealogical and historical documents in the Blount County Courthouse and the museum dated prior to 1988.

Papers, ledgers, and microfilm will be scanned to a digital format to allow for easier and faster public access to records.