Gautier gets half a million from feds to upgrade police equipment
By Warren Kulo
GAUTIER, Mississippi -- Gautier police will soon be sporting new body and in-car cameras, along with a new dispatch control station and radio system, thanks to a grant of more than half a million dollars from the federal government.
The $510,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice was included in the 2023 appropriations bill passed by Congress on Dec. 23 and signed into law by President Joe Biden on Dec. 29.
“The Gautier Police Department is committed to keeping our community safe, and this important federal funding will provide our officers and dispatchers with the technology and tools they need to do just that while ensuring their own wellbeing,” said Gautier police chief David Bever said.
“The updates to GPD’s system will also enhance the flow of time-sensitive information and allow for better coordination and response during interjurisdictional emergencies.”
According to the City, the new cameras will activate automatically and allow for immediate uploading once officers return to the station, thus increasing efficiency and safety.
Upgraded software will also allow for easier viewing of video footage and retain the footage for a greater period of time. The new systems will also feature Global Positioning System (GPS) and other enhanced safety features, including an alert sent to dispatch if an officer has in a prone position for an extended period.
The new dispatch control station is more than 13 years old and proving increasingly difficult to repair, limiting police ability to communicate during inclement weather and other emergency events.
The new system will be P25-compliant, allowing for Gautier police to communicate with other area law enforcement regardless of what type of communications system they may use.
The City says the new system will enhance communication within the department and allow for increased coordination/response in the event of county-wide or state-wide emergencies.
“Replacing the Gautier Police Department’s outdated equipment and technology will help to ensure both the safety of our community and the brave men and women who make up Gautier’s law enforcement agencies,” Mayor Casey Vaughan said. “We thank U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and former U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo for helping to secure this critical investment, which will provide the most efficient safety services to the residents of Gautier.”