University Police earn state, federal grants for safety

SUNY Oswego’s University Police recently received two grants, one through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and the other from the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

The federal grant of $3,750 will allow the department to purchase a night-vision kit, said John C. Rossi, assistant chief of University Police. The lightweight low-light amplifying kit will be used for search and rescue calls during nighttime hours and will aid officers in patrolling parking lots, Rossi said. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced the grant in October.

The grant came through FEMA’s Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program, which enhances regional response capabilities by providing technology and equipment to smaller jurisdictions that were unable to acquire equipment through other programs.

The state grant of $2,000 is from DMV’s “Buckle Up New York” campaign. It supports time for police officers to educate motorists and enforce seatbelt and child car-seat laws, said Lt. Kevin Velzy of University Police. It dovetails with the state campaign that has advertising pushes particularly in November and May, he added.

“Statewide, the usage of seatbelts by front-seat passengers is around 83 percent. Our goal for this next year is to raise the percentage to at least 86 percent,” Velzy explained. “By doing this we also hope to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured in car crashes.”

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(Posted: Oct 29, 2008)