New York State Senator Pete Harckham announced today that he has secured $100,000 in state grant funding for Westchester County Police to purchase a new Hazardous Response Vehicle. The new vehicle, which has not been delivered yet, will replace the county’s existing heavy duty Hazardous Devices Unit (HDU) Bomb Response Vehicle, a 2008 GMC Utility Truck.
“Making sure that county police and emergency personnel have up-to-date equipment and proper resources in order to safeguard our communities is a top priority of mine,” said Harckham. “Westchester County, with its mix of cities, suburban villages and rural areas, poses certain challenges in terms of public safety, and a new Hazardous Response Vehicle will benefit both police officers and residents. I am happy to have helped gain this important investment for the county while also alleviating some of the financial burden on taxpayers.”
“This grant is only the latest way that Senator Harckham has helped the County government provide critical services to the people of Westchester,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “He is a tireless advocate for Westchester, and we appreciate his efforts on our behalf. This grant funding assists our Department of Public Safety and Department of Probation in providing services that are vital to the safety and security of our residents. ”
Westchester County’s current Hazardous Response Vehicle has outlived its usefulness, and because of electrical problems in the vehicle, a complete overhaul of the system is necessary. In addition, the response vehicle no longer meets the Hazardous Response Unit’s space and operational needs.
The new Hazardous Response Vehicle, now on order, will have four-wheel drive capacity, giving it extra range throughout the county on back roads and remote areas while maintaining full equipment loads. The plan is to utilize the new vehicle for a minimum of 10 years of service, and the vehicle will be used a regional tool to respond to bomb threats and hazardous device calls, as well as storing updated equipment to maintain the bomb squad’s accreditation status.
The full cost of the new Hazardous Response Vehicle is $289,661. About two-thirds of the vehicle’s cost is being funded with a 2019 Bomb Squad Initiative grant awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and administered through the New York State Department of Homeland security and Emergency Services.
“We are grateful to Senator Harckham for securing this grant for the Westchester County Police Hazardous Devices Unit,” said Terrance Raynor, acting commissioner of Westchester’s Department of Public Safety. “The funding will help us to replace an aging vehicle and ensure that the Hazardous Devices Unit can continue to respond to calls for service throughout Westchester County.”
The awarded grant funding was secured within the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM), which is among the grant programs administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to support community and economic development. Harckham has delivered more than $1.2 million of state grant funding to first responders and emergency personnel in SD40 municipalities and nonprofits over the past four years.