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Agawam Council approves grant for police dispatch training

Date: 1/9/2015

AGAWAM – The Agawam Town Council unanimously voted to accept a state grant for the Police Department on Jan. 5. The grant, a total of $27,063.23, comes from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State 911 Department and will be used to train dispatchers in Agawam, according to Sgt. James Donavon.

Dispatchers are required to complete 16 hours of training, and every two years, they need to be updated in medical dispatcher training. This grant will allow for “every person eligible to sit at a desk” to be entirely up to date with new procedures, Donavon said.

 Donavon said that there are a number of classes the Agawam dispatchers can take in regards to dealing with the public and keeping officers safe.

And even better, he said, this necessity comes without hurting the pockets of Agawam residents.

“It’s great that the town accepts it every, and we get our dispatchers trained at no cost for the citizens of the town,” Donavon said.

 The town council also voted to accept a $10,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. This vote would approve the grant should the town’s proposal be approved.

If the grant funding is approved, it will be used for about 100 hours of engineering design work for the Walnut Street Extension project, according to the proposal. The proposed project comes in attempt to revitalize the commercial area and to “return the Walnut Street Extension Shopping Area to its former glory,” according to the grant proposal.

Both grants went through the finance committee with little trouble and were voted up by the council, 11-0. Councilor Joseph Mineo was hardly surprised with the grants’ acceptance.

“We never turn down grants,” Mineo said with a smile.