HOULTON, Maine — The Maine Emergency Management Agency has provided funding to the local Police Department for border security efforts.
The Town Council, during its meeting Monday evening, accepted a $15,753 allocation from MEMA that will be used by the Police Department to purchase an ATV featuring side-by-side seating to carry more than one officer.
Police Chief Butch Asselin said Tuesday the department received the funding to assist officers participating in Operation Stonegarden.
Operation Stonegarden is an initiative spearheaded by U.S. Department of Homeland Security that gives states additional funding and flexibility in an effort to strengthen America’s borders.
Started in 2004, Operation Stonegarden has made funds available to more than 200 agencies in areas adjacent to the Canadian or Mexican borders to enhance border security operations.
Asselin said the new ATV will provide the department with another tool to benefit the community and to use during Stonegarden work.
“In order to participate in this, we require extra equipment, and there is no limit on what we can use this for,” said Asselin, adding that it would be particularly useful while patrolling in the summer and during the town’s annual agricultural fair.
The chief said he expects to receive bids on the ATV and hopes to purchase the unit by April.