Bethalto police hope to get grant for radio system

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Global Database Administrator
Dec 23, 2001
Ann Arbor, Michigan
BETHALTO, Ill - Police Chief Alan Winslow is "very appreciative that (U.S. Rep.) Jerry Costello has been really good to the village of Bethalto."

Costello, D-Belleville, who represents Illinois' 12th Congressional District, currently is working on getting secure funding in Congress for the police departments of Bethalto and Brooklyn through the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2009.

The funding, if passed by the U.S. House and Senate, would give both departments $100,000 next year.

Winslow said his department filled out a joint application with the Bethalto School District three different times, attempting to get grant money, and will "be very glad to get it," if the bill passes.

"I am optimistic, but I am not going to count on it until I've received confirmation," Winslow said.

Costello spokesman David Gillies said the bill has passed the House only at the committee level and will be considered by the full House when it resumes sometime this month in Washington, D.C.

"This legislation contains important funding increases for domestic priorities, such as law enforcement," Costello, a former police officer was quoted as saying, "These resources will help our first responders be better prepared to do their jobs. They put their lives on the line every day, and this dedication deserves our full support."

The Bethalto School District will be using the funds for internal antennas and an antenna tower installation. The Bethalto Police Department will uses its part of the money for an 800 MHz radio system.

"We have a geographic area that has several weak spots," Winslow said. "Our hope is that (this radio) will cure that. It's a safety issue for the police officers, firefighters and citizens in those particular areas."

Winslow said he knows there is a chance that Bethalto might not be able to get the money, but according to Gillies, Costello feels positive about the bill's possible success.

"I hope he's able to secure the funding," Winslow said.

After being considered by the full House, the bill next would be considered by a Senate committee, and after that, could move to the Senate floor. The bill was considered last month before the House committee, but the whole process to pass the bill takes place for the better part of the year, Gillies said.

Gillies pointed out the bill's importance.

"The need for this type of reliable emergency communication capability has been a big need, particularly since 9/11," he said.
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