PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — U.S. Rep. Eric Sorensen announced on Thursday that $130,464 in federal grants are coming to central Illinois to buy new technologies and equipment to better address crime and keep communities safe. 

The funding was awarded as part of DOJ’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. The breakdown of the money is this:

  • Peoria and Peoria County are receiving $91,915 to upgrade server storage capacity to support the use of body cameras, as well as acquire bulletproof vests and traffic cameras. 
  • Bloomington, Normal, and McLean County will get $38,549 to upgrade a variety of technologies and equipment to improve policing.  

The Bloomington Police Department asked for money to transition information systems to mobile devices to improve department communications and increase efficiency. Normal plans to use their share for camera technologies that support their ability to investigate violent crime.

The McLean County Sheriff’s Office seeks to acquire exterior vest carriers, helmets, and rifle plates to better protect officers.

“Our brave law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to serve our communities, often with strained budgets and without adequate equipment and technology,” said the Rockford Democrat. “I applaud this vital federal funding coming to our region to help local departments better protect neighborhoods.”

Added Peoria Mayor Rita Ali: “This award will allow for not only the expansion of our technology, which will help our law enforcement retain records but will also support the surveillance cameras that they use to maintain safety in our community.”