By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – The City Council, at the request of Mayor Arthur Vigeant, accepted grants of $15,000 and $13,953 which have been awarded to the Police Department at the council’s Oct. 6 meeting.
The $15,000 award from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, will be used to help pay for traffic enforcement patrols.
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grant of $13,953 from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs is a reimbursement grant that will be used to fund the department’s Rape Aggressive Defense Systems (RAD) program.
“This is a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques,” said Police Chief Mark F. Leonard in his communication to Vigeant. “The program is designed to help women to be conscious of their surroundings and teaches them how to avoid and reduce their risk of becoming a rape victim.”
Funds will be used for the recertification of instructors, overtime for instructors to teach the six-week courses, and supplies.
In other business, councilors accepted a grant for $15,000 from the Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Service to be used in part by the Youth Commission “to fund a city-wide initiative aimed at combating substance abuse among the city’s youth”, said the mayor in his request.
Vigeant thanked State Representative Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough and State Senator Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, for their initiative in obtaining this award.
“Future utilization of these funds may also involve other departments such as Police and Recreation,” Vigeant said, “but will remain focused on drug and alcohol awareness.”
He said expenditure of the funds will be overseen by his office in collaboration with the Youth Commission.
“This funding will allow our Youth Commission to reach students outside of the classroom and engage the greater Marlborough community to join our efforts to create a safer, healthier environment for the city’s youth,” Vigeant noted.
The Youth Commission has several projects planned around this issue, including designing a logo to replace the working motto of “A Healthy Me is Drug Free”. Plans are underway to have students create, script and record their own public service announcements related to the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.