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Pike sheriff eyes state

grant to add more deputies

By BETH LAKEY

Staff Writer

May 9, 2000 10 PM

Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas is hoping to expand his department with the aid of some grant money.

Two years ago, the department applied for a Community Oriented Policing Services grant administered through the Department of Justice and got three officers.

This year, they’re trying again.

The COPS in Schools grant would provide for a school resource officer.

"This is something we definietely need to consider," Thomas said.

Last week, the sheriff’s department dispatched four deputies to a school where "a number of students" were involved in a fight, Thomas said.

The sheriff said John Key, superintendent of the Pike County Schools, is in favor of having a school resource officer.

Thomas is also applying for grant money from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to provide for a K-9 and equipment of the trainer, plus equipment to outfit a seven-man tactical team and three vehicles.

Thomas said he is asking ADECA for $123,000 with the county providing a 10-percent match.

Currently, the sheriff’s department is working on money from five grants.