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REC grant aids Conway Police

CONWAY – Conway’s Police Department will purchase some new equipment to help keep its officers and the public safer thanks to a recent grant from a local organization giving back to the community.

“We would like to thank Roanoke Electric Cooperative for selecting Conway Police Department to receive this award,” said Chief Jimmy Bracy. “It is through your member-owners’ generosity and support that will help Conway Police Department better serve our citizens and community.”

The department received $3,088 through the Cooperative’s “Operation Round-Up” program. The funds for that program come from member-owners who choose to round up their bills to the next highest dollar each month. The Roanoke Care Trust then selects organizations in the area that serve the health, safety, educational, or recreational needs of citizens to be the recipients of the grant money collected from the program.

Chief Bracy said the funds will be used to purchase two body cameras along with the equipment needed to operate them, including a charger. This will be the first time the Conway Police Department will have body cameras.

“They’re fairly expensive and that’s one reason why Conway has never had them before. We’re a small department, and for us, that’s a lot of money to spend. But we feel like it’s vital in this day and time,” Bracy explained.

Body cameras can be a benefit in a number of ways including increasing transparency and accuracy in reporting.

“It’s an effective tool that police departments can use to demonstrate its commitment to transparency to the public,” he said. “It’s protecting its officers from unjustified complaints or misconduct. Or if it is justified, it will show it one way or another.”

Additionally, Bracy said that having video evidence can help ensure accurate documentation for arrest reports and other interactions with the public. The equipment can also build and maintain trust between the police and the community.

“We want to keep that trust,” he said.

Bracy again emphasized his appreciation for the grant from Roanoke Electric Cooperative, saying, “it allows those organizations, like us, to purchase equipment they wouldn’t normally be able to get. It takes the burden of finances off.”

Grants like this from Roanoke Electric go to help out different organizations, which in turn, will help others in the community.