Henry County Police seek public input about cybercrime grant

The Henry County Police Department is applying for a federal grant to upgrade its digital crimefighting capabilities. Public comment is open until Aug. 23.

McDONOUGH — Every year, law enforcement agencies around the country apply for the federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to help pay for special projects. The Henry County Police Department hopes to win $30,467 to improve its Criminal Intelligence Unit and it is seeking citizen input.

According to HCPD, the grant would go towards “technological enhancement to detect, prevent, and assist in the investigation and response to criminal and terrorist activity” and “develop[ing] personnel efficiency by providing professional training.”

Specifically, that means technology upgrades and more efficient data production “to guard against critical information loss on network and external computer drives.”

Winning the grant would mean that the training and equipment HCPD seeks would be “100% federally funded and incur no additional expenses charged to taxpayers.”

The request follows a July 17 “cyber incident” on county computers, including HCPD and the court system, that prompted county officials to call in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Technology Authority for help.

HCPD plans to send members of its Criminal Intelligence Unit for certification with Georgia Law Enforcement Criminal Intelligence Analysis, as well “a specialized digital forensics examiner training program.”

HPCD says the CIU needs these upgrades because it helps the rest of the department fight crime by analyzing digital information “to identify and predict trends, patterns or problem areas requiring action.”

As part of the application process, HCPD is soliciting public comment about its plans from now until Aug. 23, which is the application deadline. Interested parties can then see a copy of the proposed application or request a copy by e-mail, U.S. mail or in person pick-up.

Citizens are invited to send questions, comments or suggestions to Henry County Grant Administrator Kimberly Monast at kmonast@co.henry.ga.us or 770-288-6540.

HCPD adds, “The Henry County Police Department and Henry Board of Commissioners maintain strict financial stewardship of federal and state grant award dollars and welcome your inquiry.”

Learn about the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Grant process at www.bja.gov/funding/JAGLocal19.pdf

See what kinds of grants have been funded in past years at www.bja.gov/funding.aspx#3

Learn how to limit cyberthreats on your own computer at gta.georgia.gov/cyber-security-awareness-main-page

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