The Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and Health Department were both permitted to apply for grants from the County Council during their meeting Monday.
Sheriff Matt Hassel will be applying for a CHIRP Grant which he said is a combination of Operation Pull Over and the DUI Task Force Grant. CHIRP stands for Comprehensive Highway Injury Reduction Program. Funds allow officers to work additional hours focused on traffic violations, occupant protection laws, and impaired driving enforcement, all to make Marshall County roads safer.
The amount of funding available is determined by how many agencies apply for funds. The sheriff says his department hosts the grant for the entire county with Bremen, Bourbon, Culver, and Plymouth participating along with officers from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department. The grant is for the 2022 and 2023 grant years.
The second grant for the Sheriff’s Department was explained by Detective 1st Stg. Les McFarland. This grant is for domestic cannabis eradication and Suppression. He explained that the Indiana State Police offer a grant called the Rewards Program. Case reports from Marshall County about marijuana arrests are submitted. The data which includes the suspect’s information, quantity, and type of drug is then submitted to the USDA. Marshall County was rewarded $1,500. Those funds can be used for training related to marijuana, reimbursement of funds for indoor growing operations, and such.
Both grants for the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department were approved. The CHIRP Grant was by a 6 to 1 vote with Councilman Jesse Bohannon voting against it. Bohannon told WTCA he doesn’t like Operation Pullover. He said, “An officer generally can’t lawfully stop a vehicle without having a reasonable suspicion, also called ‘reasonable cause,’ that the driver of someone else in the vehicle has broken the law. ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ means an objectively reasonable basis – it must be more than just a hunch. I think checkpoints are a violation of the 4th Amendment.”
Faith Freed Administrator of the Marshall County Health Department asked to apply for two grants. The first is a $25,000 Emergency Preparedness Grant which helps support the salary of the Emergency Preparedness employee. This employee helps with various activities designed to enhance state and local preparedness to better respond to public health and healthcare emergencies. These activities include the development of an all-hazards emergency operations plan, training, and exercise planning, point of dispensing exercise, and information technology management.
The second grant is for the Marshall County WIC (Women, Infants & Children) program. The annual funding request is $217,837.50. These are Federal Funds that support the programs they offer.
Both County Health Department grant requests were unanimously approved by the County Council.