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Blaine, Hill counties receive Stonegarden grants

 

August 28, 2018



Sen. Jon Tester announced that local sheriff’s offices have received Operation Stonegarden grants as part of awards worth more than $1.5 million across the state, a press release from his office said.

Law enforcement uses this grant to help pay overtime for officers and purchase new equipment to help increase preparedness, coordination and effectiveness on the border, Blaine County Sheriff Glenn Huestis said Monday. He added that Blaine County has been receiving this grant since 2008 and has used it to increase its presence on the border and to purchase important equipment such as night-vision goggles, ATVs and other vehicles.

Blaine County Sheriff’s Office was awarded $70,000 in the grants.

Hill County Sheriff Jamie Ross said Monday that the grant provides law enforcement with more eyes, which is a benefit.

Hill County was awarded $88,224, a $18,224 increase over last year.

Hill County has been receiving the grant since 2008 as well, he said, adding that the grant has strict guidelines set specifically for Operation Stonegarden.

Tester, ranking member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, used his leadership position to increase Stonegarden funding by 55 percent, the release said. These grants are issued to local governments and federally recognized tribal governments to defend the country’s borders from terrorism, intercept illegal drugs and combat human trafficking.

“Nothing is more important than keeping our borders secure and our communities safe,” Tester, who is facing a challenge in his re-election bid this year from Republican Montana Auditor Matt Rosendale, said in his press release. “These resources will boost local law enforcement’s ability to stop dangerous drugs from coming through our ports and ensure there are no weak links along our border.”

The grants are going to 14 Montana communities this year, two more counties than last year.

These counties are Lake County, receiving $100,000, and Mineral County, also receiving $100,000 from the grant.

Other grant amounts are Blackfeet Nation, $197,145; Glacier County, $100,000; Roosevelt County, $82,533; Phillips County, $90,467; Sheridan County, $138,520; Toole County, $110,000; Dawson County, $78,362; Valley County, $150,000; Flathead County/Kalispell, $200,000, and Lincoln County, $150,000.

 

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