ComEd, Caucus Announce Public-Safety Agency Grants in Illinois
Wednesday, August 07, 2019 | Comments

To enhance public safety and quality of life in communities across northern Illinois, ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus announced grants of up to $10,000 each to 25 public agencies through the ComEd Powering Safe Communities Program. From radios to cameras, the projects address critical safety needs in the communities ComEd serves.

“The safety of the public and our employees is our highest priority,” said Melissa Washington, vice president of governmental and external affairs at ComEd. “That’s why we partner with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus each year through the ComEd Powering Safe Communities Program to promote a culture of safety and wellness in our communities. By providing local agencies with the resources required to help address public-safety needs, we’re powering a brighter, more resilient future for the residents they serve.”

Since 2015, ComEd has supported critical safety needs of local municipalities through Powering Safe Communities, bringing essential public-safety programs and services to people and populations throughout the energy company’s service territory.

For the past four grant cycles, ComEd has collaborated with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, a council for Chicagoland’s chief elected officials, on public policy issues and to fund $670,000 worth of public-safety projects throughout northern Illinois. Through this collaboration, ComEd provides the program funding, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus administers the grants to local communities, and grant recipients match ComEd’s contribution with their own funding of equal or greater value.

“For the past four years, we have been able to leverage over $1.8 million for 95 local public safety projects,” said Joseph Tamburino, mayor of Hillside, Illinois, and chairman of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus. “Our partnership with ComEd has put our shared public safety commitment into action and increased community resiliency. We are grateful for ComEd’s generosity.”

Earlier this year, public agencies from across communities that ComEd serves submitted grant applications, which were then reviewed by an advisory committee comprised of public safety, local government and allied professionals.

Several of the 25 grant recipients purchased communications equipment for 2019. The village of Bradley Police Department will use the grant to support upgrades to the wireless network servicing the department’s patrol cars. The network is used to download critical security updates and firmware for the in-car hardware and computers, as well as upload recorded video from the patrol cars to document events.

Village of Hazel Crest will use its grant to help replace the police department’s outdated radios through the purchase of four public-safety, all-weather radios. The purchase will assist the department in reaching its goal of outfitting its first responders with 40 radios. The city of Joliet’s grant will support the purchase of a backup generator to power the emergency operations center (EOC) at Fire Station #1 in the event of outages. The station’s current generator does not have capacity to power the EOC.

Lombard Police Department’s grant will support the purchase of a new electronic fingerprinting system, also known as LIVESCAN, to enhance the department’s technological capabilities. The grant for the village of Mokena Police Department will help replace nine-year-old, near-obsolete, refurbished laptop computers with updated technology for use in patrol cars. Seven laptops are needed to complete transition of the entire fleet to a current technology, and the grant funding will help offset the purchase cost. The new technology will assist officers in conducting investigations and research, as well as completing reports, without leaving their patrol beats.

The Niles Police Department grant will support the purchase of pole-mounted automated license plate recognition (LPR) technology, which scans the license plates of moving or parked vehicles. Once a plate is scanned and its alphanumeric pattern is read by the LPR system, the technology will compare the license plate against an existing database of plates that are of interest to law enforcement.

Streamwood Police Department will use its grant to fund the Streamwood Search and Rescue Program, which will assist in the procurement of an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone), equipped with a thermal imaging camera and a high-resolution zooming camera. This technology will assist the police department in the quick and safe rescue of those that go missing with endangering or life-threatening risk factors. The village of University Park’s grant will help purchase a standby generator for the village’s Fire Station 1. The generator will allow the fire department to continue safety services and protection for residents and business owners during power outages, including those caused by natural disasters.

ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon, an energy company with about 10 million electricity and natural gas customers.

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