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Corpus Christi leaders look to approve police and fire department grants totaling almost $2 million

One of the biggest grants on the table is just over $281,000 to help fund five full time positions for CCPD's Victim Assistance Program.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — City leaders are expected to sign off next week on hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money that will ultimately benefit our local first responders.

But its also aimed at saving tax power money.

The latest round of grant money is said to be the tip of the iceberg as the city has just added a brand new grant writer position who's job will be solely focused on digging up even more cost saving grants. 

"Overall, all of our grants we get about $2 million," said CCPD Police Management Services Director Pat Eldridge. "It covers a lot of equipment, covers overtime, enforcement overtime for vice narcotics, traffic enforcement."

Eldridge is the miracle worker that spends countless hours searching for available grants and applying for them on top of her day job. She told 3NEWS that while the task is daunting, it's something she has always enjoyed.

"Lots of people don't want to have anything to do with grants, but I like it," she said.

Eldridge said that whether the money is state funded or from local foundations, the process can be time consuming, but it can also have a big payout.

During the next city council meeting, city leaders will be looking to approve seven grants that will total to just under $2 million for both police and fire. One of the biggest grants on the table is just over $281,000 to help fund five full time positions for CCPD's Victim Assistance Program.

The other grants are geared toward buying video systems for patrol vehicles, a 3-D laser forensic scanner, and the two others for training and equipment for the fire department.

Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo said that the city departments rely heavily on the grants to better serve the community.

"It allows us to leverage our local dollars with federal, state, and local monies and therefore creates a huge savings for the tax payer," she said.

This fiscal year alone, the city of Corpus Christi is projected to receive $47 million in grants, which is $7 million more than last year. Guajardo said she is proud of staff members such as Eldridge, but realizes not every department has the resources and time to apply which is why the city is adding a brand new grant writer position to its staff.

"Grant writers are excellent researchers, the individual we are bringing on, she is from the Coastal Bend and has 20 plus years of grant writing experience," she said.

Guajardo said she can't wait to see just how much additional grant money the new hire can help bring to the table.

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