Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino knows his county is facing an opiate and heroin crisis. So he is grateful for help when it's offered.
With $25,000 in grant money awarded to his department Wednesday, Giardino said he will put a portion toward drug investigation equipment and, most importantly, toward training.
The training will take place in the spring and will be offered to police agencies both in the county and from around the state, Giardino said.
"Safety tips, detection," Giardino said of the aim of the training. "Now we have a problem with police officers getting contaminated with the Fentanyl and the heroin, so this will update them on the best safety procedures.
"We would not be able to do it without this money," the sheriff said.
The spring Sheriff's Department training will follow the model of training the department has offered on traffic safety. Fifteen departments around the state sent a total of 75 officers to take advantage of that offering, Giardino said.
The funding announced Wednesday was among four similar grants that were secured by state Sen. Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville.
In addition to the training and equipment, the Sheriff's Department will use money from the grants to purchase five new bulletproof vests to replace expiring vests.
The Northville Firemen's Association received $22,000 to purchase 10 new sets of firefighting turnout gear and replace 10 fire pagers.
Two new ATVs, a trailer and search-and-rescue equipment will be purchased by the Sir William Johnson Volunteer Fire District, thanks to grant funding that department received. The ATVs will be available countywide and beyond, as needed, Fire Chief Doug Hulbert Jr. said.
The ATVs can be used in both search-and-rescue operations and in woodland fire suppression, he said.
The Rockwood-Garoga-Lassellsville Volunteer Fire Company in Ephratah received $5,000 to purchase and install a generator to power its station #2 during power outages.