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Orange County: Federal grants will strengthen counter terrorism efforts for advanced SWAT team training, K-9 units

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The Chronicle

BY ERIKA NORTON

GOSHEN — Towns in the Hudson Valley will get new equipment and training in counterterrorism and public safety, thanks to grants from the Federal Department of Homeland Security.

Advanced SWAT team training and additional K9 units are part of the package.

Out of the $5 million distributed statewide, Orange County received two grants: a Tactical Team Targeted grant and an Explosive Detection Canine grant.

According to Capt. Scott Hamill, the $100,000 grant — the maximum amount available — will be used for equipment and SWAT team training for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. The pricey equipment includes rappelling gear, rescue harnesses, ropes, tubular webbing, an ATF explosive magazine used contain explosive materials and $18,000 worth of ear bone headsets.

The largest chunk of the money will be used for advanced SWAT training, which, combined with the new equipment, will expand the sheriff department’s ability to act in different types of incidents, from hostage situations to terrorist attacks, Hamill said.

“I think that especially in Orange County alone, the river having West Point, having some of the facilities that we do within the county, this equipment is definitely something that is needed,” Hamill said. “And the training is always a priority for the sheriff’s office, making sure our people are trained properly and given the proper equipment when they do deploy.”

The county also received a $50,000 Explosive Detection Canine grant, which will go to fund a K9 unit vehicle, a storage magazine allowing for safe storage of explosive material, and the dog.

A big chunk of the money will purchase the vehicle which, according to Hamill, will be consistent with the vehicles already used by the sheriff's department, and another sizable portion will go to purchasing the K-9, which he said costs thousands of dollars.

Other grants in the areaOther municipalities within the county also applied for and received their own grants, with both the City of Middletown and the Village of Goshen receiving $50,000 Explosive Detection Canine grants. The dog that will work for the Village of Goshen Police, Nik, is currently in training at the Orange County K9 Academy.

Read more: http://www.chroniclenewspaper.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20170322/NEWS01/170329968/0/frontpage/Federal-grants-will-strengthen-counter-terrorism-efforts