Hays County applies for grants to get SWAT team night vision binoculars, hazmat equipment

Hays County commissioners are asking for night vision binoculars for the county SWAT team, a new emergency command vehicle, new hazmat team equipment and funds to maintain Hazmat team monitors.

Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday, Jan. 23, to send grant applications that would cover the cost of these items to the Capital Area Council of Governments, or CAPCOG. The grant applications deadlines are Jan. 26 and do not require matching funds.

The 14 new SWAT team night vision binoculars would, according to documents attached to Tuesday's commissioners court agenda, be used "for remote surveillance of potentially dangerous and/or life-threatening scenes during low/no light conditions." The grant is for $122,477.80.

The Hays County SWAT team was first established in 1994.

Commissioners also submitted a $20,000 grant application for hazmat team monitor maintenance, which county documents say will increase the life of the specialized equipment and allow the team to respond with sustained equipment.

Another $75,000 was also requested for the hazmat team to replace breathing apparatus for firefighters. According to supplemental documents, the air packs are out of date for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive response and are in need of being replaced.

Lastly, commissioners applied for a $200,000 grant to purchase a command vehicle that would be deployed during emergency incidents to reestablish communication and coordination.

Grant award winners will be announced Aug. 31.


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