Woodlake PD tunes into federal funding for new radios

The city of Woodlake receives $30,357 from the California State Homeland Security Grant to buy new radio equipment for police officers

WOODLAKE – Woodlake is on the United States Department of Homeland Security radar thanks to a generous grant program that will yield their police department much needed new radios. 

After going through some bureaucratic motions the city of Woodlake is set to receive $30,357 from the California State Homeland Security Grant (SHSGP) for their updated radio equipment. The grant was awarded in 2020, but was finally presented to council on Monday, Oct. 10 so the city may receive the funding for the current fiscal year. 

“The county actually applied for the grant, we’re just a sub recipient. In order to take the money, the council needs to be aware of it,” city manager Ramon Lara said. “This is something that happened a while back, when we authorized the county to go in and apply on our behalf.”

The reason the city is choosing to replace the radios is because smaller cities within the county are on the same communication systems, and Woodlake needs to have equipment that is compatible with the other cities, according to Lara. This funding will allow them to purchase compatible and more advanced equipment, as the current portable radio communications system is outdated. Woodlake’s general fund will cover any expenses if the grant does not cover the full amount.

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors applied for the grant, making Woodlake a subrecipient. In order to receive the funds, Woodlake had to come into an agreement with the county. After Woodlake went into agreement with the county, the city council then had to approve the grant, which they did on Oct. 10, allowing the city to finally receive the funds. 

The SHSGP funding comes from the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and aims to enhance the performance and capabilities of state and local first responders. The federal funding is meant to encourage first responder departments within the state to purchase more advanced equipment, such as these radios, in order to maximize their capabilities.

In order for the county to receive the funding, they first had to apply to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) who distributes the SHSGP grant under DHS. The subrecipient towns, like Woodlake, had plans for programs or activities that they wanted funding for, and the county took those requests and asked CalOES to provide sufficient funding for the city.

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