Nov 2, 2010 11:17 AM by Posted by Sharlee Barriere
Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz announced today that Dr. Rick Blackburn, departmental Director of Grants, Research and Special Projects is retiring at the end of the month. Blackburn has been with the department for four and one half years. Sheriff Guidroz stated, "When I first took office in 2006, Blackburn was not assigned to grants. I quickly recognized his talents and moved him to this position. He has generated nearly $3, 000, 00 in successful grant applications during the time he has been in this position. Captain Blackburn has been very successful at securing highly competitive grants from both federal and state agencies. Blackburn is one of the best grant developers in the state and possibly the region."
Guidroz also noted, "Current federal and state grants to the department total over $1,500,000. Funds received under these grants have been used to improve the department's ability to serve the public. Four examples of the largest current grants are as follows:"
Over $487,000 to improve searchable database - records management software, provide data linked laptop computers for patrol units and increased computer server capacity. This grant also allowed for the addition of one person in the records area to scan old reports into the searchable database. Over $264,000 to address alcohol related youth issues in St. Landry Parish. This grant provides funds for DWI checkpoints and patrols. Alcohol sales to underage children, retail sales compliance checks and festival patrols to halt underage consumption of alcohol.
Over $184,000 to provide security equipment to several parish schools Over $129,000 to improve patrol dispatch through the addition of two dispatchers. The grant also provided about $25,000 to improve criminal investigative equipment in the department. This included high resolution video and digital cameras, and materials to substantially improve crime scene evidence collection and preservation.
Guidroz noted several other grants: a $20,000 high technology radar trailer with message board features, in-car video recorders for patrol units, portable and mobile radios, and substantial funding for bulletproof vests for departmental personnel.
"All the goods and services derived from these grants have improved the range of capabilities employed across the various divisions to enable us to continue to improve services to the citizens of St. Landry Parish," Guidroz added.