VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. — A local sheriff's department received some additional funding thanks to the "CARES Act" passed back in March.
"We were actually trying to come up with ways on how to get funding for this to determine if we were going to need to have to budget for it or anything in the future. Fortunately, with the "CARES Act", we met the criteria and were able to purchase them that way," said Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel E. Abbott.
The Van Buren County Sheriff's Office received $127,680 through the "CARES Act" to purchase updated in-car equipment and other items needed to help with COVID-19 testing.
"We ended up getting 20 laptops, MDT’s for our cruisers. We have them in there now, however we were able to upgrade them through the "CARES Act funding". We were able to get 33 laptops for our EOC, Emergency Operations Center," said Sheriff Abbott.
On top of that, they were even able to purchase two trailers, traffic cones, folding tables and chairs, generators and a tent for COVID-19 testing that will also be helpful going forward.
"We’re trying to gear up for the future knowing the vaccinations will be coming. When they do, we expect a very heavy influx of people going to get vaccinated, and now we will actually have two mobile trailers to where we can get them out in the community, help our community members as well as medical staff that would be administering this stuff," said Sheriff Abbott.
By using the grant money, Sheriff Abbott said it saves taxpayer dollars which can then be used elsewhere in the county.
While this equipment was much needed, they are glad to be able to prepare going forward.
"COVID is not going away. It is getting worse. We just want to be prepared for our citizens as well as our office to be able to step in and help out when we are called upon," said Sheriff Abbott.
The sheriff's office wasn't the only agency in Van Buren County to get money from the "CARES Act".
Both the court system and prosecutor's office received money as well, totaling over $265,000 for the county.