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U.S. grant would fund anti-crime technology

Sheriff's deputies are on track for $48,000 in money to fight crime, and they plan to use most of it to reduce speeding.

The City Commission approved about $5,000 in matching funds at Thursday night's meeting to secure $43,000 in federal grant money.

About $14,000 would be spent for a SMART trailer, which shows motorists their speed and the local speed limit on a monitor as they drive by.

"We have a number of citizens in Dunedin who are concerned about speeding," said Capt. John Bolle, the Sheriff's Office's north district commander. He said equipment purchased with the grant money would be used exclusively in Dunedin.

The proposal also requests:

+ $14,000 for two all-terrain vehicles to patrol parks.

+ $9,000 for new radar guns to catch speeders.

+ $7,000 for training tapes and educational materials.

+ $4,000 for night-vision equipment that would be used to spot drug users and other criminals in the dark.

The Pinellas County Substance Abuse Advisory Committee must approve the grant application before the city can receive the money.

Bolle said the department had chosen to spend the money on technology because "that enables us to make our manpower usage more efficient." The department had tried to focus on crime areas that residents had complained about the most.