Glendale police and fire officials received more than $850,000 in U.S. Department of Homeland Security grants this week for intelligence-gathering equipment and search-and-rescue training.

Enhancements to video equipment on police helicopters, upgrades to night-vision capabilities, new police protective wear and equipment for the city's regional training center at Scholl Canyon are some of the projects that will be funded through grants, Police Capt. Ray Edey said.

The funding will also pay for license plate camera recognition systems to be installed on two patrol vehicles and for new cameras along the rail systems in the San Fernando Road corridor, he said.

Recognition cameras take snapshots of license plates that drive past a patrolling vehicle, Edey said. Officers will then be immediately alerted to any license plates tied to outstanding warrants, stolen vehicles and missing persons.

The Police Department has seven vehicles equipped with the recognition system.

While training for officers is mostly covered by California's Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, slimly staffed fire engine companies must often find outside funding to pay for their training to avoid overtime costs, Edey said.

The Glendale Fire Department received 10 grants to help pay for overtime associated with training, as well as equipment for the regional training center and its hazardous-materials and search-and-rescue teams.

Receiving a grant is challenging because many agencies are vying for funding to support their projects amid ongoing budget woes, Edey said.

Agencies hoping to get funding must often demonstrate how their projects will benefit the region they serve.

“It can be a grueling vetting process,” Edey said

For the Police Department, officials focused on receiving funding for projects that tackle terrorism and deal mostly with intelligence gathering and sharing.

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