Bloomington to buy handheld narcotics analyzer with federal grant money

At its Wednesday regular meeting, Bloomington city council voted to approve an interlocal agreement with Monroe County to spend $33,506 worth of Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) money.

The federal funds are awarded to states and localities based on based on violent crime statistics for each state and/or local unit of government.

The agenda item was not controversial, drawing one question from councilmember Allison Chopra, and a comment from councilmember Jim Sims.

Chopra wanted to know if the money was restricted in its use. The answer from Bloomington’s police chief, Mike Diekhoff, was: Yes, the money has to be spent on the items that the department applied for.

This year, the city is spending its 80-percent share of the money ($26,805) to purchase a TruNarc handheld narcotics analyzer. Monroe County is spending its 20-percent share ($6,701) on tire deflation devises for use in vehicle pursuit intervention.

Sims told Bloomington’s police chief, Mike Diekhoff, that he knew the department would keep records on the use of the narcotics analyzers—adding that he was not giving the department a mandate to do that.

The 80-20 split between the city and the county governments is based on a violent crime statistics formula used by the JAG program. JAG measures violent crimes with the FBI’s new UCR National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The NIBRS system is supposed to be the reporting standard nationwide by the end of 2020.

Diekhoff told The Beacon before Wednesday’s council meeting that Bloomington has now transitioned to the new system. For this year, the department is keeping stats under both the UCR Progam’s traditional Summary Reporting System and NIBRS.

Nationally in 2019, JAG gave state awards totaling $175,151,787. Indiana received $3,368,606 under the state program. Localities in Indiana received a total of $1,712,389, most of which went to Indianapolis ($1,023,693).

For Beacon ByrneAwardBarChart

The award of JAG money to Bloomington has become routine over the last decade. Based an annual a review of the resolutions on Byrne Awards approved by Bloomington’s city council, here’s how the money was to be spent:

Bloomington/Monroe County JAG Awards

  • 2010 [Amount?] City to use all funds to purchase two vans for the Critical Incident Response Team.
  • 2011 [$40,317] Bloomington and Monroe County to divide equally and use respective shares to buy polygraph machines and to train one person for each department. Amended in 2013 so that Bloomington was to buy emergency lighting systems (light bars) for installation on patrol vehicles instead of polygraph equipment and training.
  • 2012 [$34,023] Bloomington to receive $16,698  for purchase of two eKiosks, one for police department’s HQ and the other for city hall. Also from that amount, Bloomington to use $5,199 for purchase a secure server for access by BPD and Monroe County Sheriff to use Law Enforcement National Data Exchange. Monroe County to use remaining $17,325 to buy in-car cameras for patrol vehicles.
  • 2013 [Amount?] Funds to be used towards the purchase of the NC4 Street Smart computer program. The 2013 JAG funds would not fully cover the cost of the computer program. Combined local funds of $124,145.00 are to be used to complete the purchase.
  • 2014 [$28,826] Bloomington to use $23,637 towards the purchase of an iRecord Digital Video Audio Recording System for four interview rooms at the Police Department. Monroe County to use $5,188.68 to buy in-car cameras.
  • 2015 [$23,860] Bloomington to use $19,088 towards purchase of additional body worn cameras. Monroe County to use $4,772 for purchase of an in-car camera.
  • 2016 [$26,624] Bloomington to use $21,299.20 towards purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Monroe County to use $5,324 to buy digital recorders.
  • 2017 [$27,691] Bloomington to use $21,598 towards the purchase of security cameras in the downtown area. Monroe County to use $6,093 towards tire deflation devices used in vehicle pursuit interventions.
  • 2018 [$30,352] Bloomington to use $24,281 towards the purchase of vehicle mounted digital video cameras. Monroe County to use $6,071 towards purchase of vehicle pursuit intervention devices.
  • 2019 [$33,506] Bloomington to use $26,805.00 to purchase a TruNarc handheld narcotics analyzer. Monroe County to use $6,701 for vehicle pursuit intervention devices.