USDA gives Humansville grant for new police radios

HUMANSVILLE, Mo. For any police department, communication is vital to keeping officers safe.

In Humansville, some outdated police radio equipment has made communication difficult.

In Humansville, some outdated police radio equipment has made that more difficult.

"They have a police frequency and police tower that they get out on but there's times and certain areas they cannot,” Sarah Newell, 911 director for Polk County Dispatch, told KY3.

“So most of them know they actually have to switch to a fire tower to make contact with us. Again that's a life safety issue where if they're having to change channels in the middle of what could be a three-second emergency that could cost their life.”

The City of Humansville applied for a grant with the USDA back in October for funds to help update the system. On Monday, they found out they had been awarded the $3,500 when KY3 called them to request an interview about the grant.

“Well as a small community we're always super excited money comes along to help us with specific needs in the community,” Carl Long, North Ward Alderman, explains. “We work on a pretty limited budget just based off of the sales tax that comes in from out community.”

“The communication is priceless in a community this size,” he adds.

The grant will help pay for a new base radio system at the station, radios in each police car, and a handheld for each officer.

“Technology changes so fast,” Newell explains. “We usually run about a five-year span from a dispatch perspective. So servers, equipment needs to be upgraded after that five years. It’s almost obsolete.”

And these equipment upgrades come at a cost including tax dollars.

“If you see a law enforcement tax on the ballot, I know nobody loves taxes, but that’s what that is for,” Newell says.

Humansville announced at their city council meeting on Wednesday they got the grant.

Tracy Mason, City Clerk of Humansville tells KY3 people were “really excited” for the news.

“We would not be able to afford these things otherwise,” she says.