Pleasant Grove Police use funds from drug seizure to purchase new equipment to protect officers

PLEASANT GROVE, Ala. (WIAT) — The Pleasant Grove Police department announced on Monday that assets seized from a 2015 drug bust have helped them to purchase new equipment and receive “vital” training, according to a release.

Police seized a sum of $318,793.39 in the Nov. 2015 arrest of Gerand Ratcliff, which initially began as an investigation into a stolen vehicle, and ended with Ratcliff reportedly found with approximately four pounds of cocaine.

Ratcliff was tried, and the Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney’s Office determined that his house and money were profits from the drug trade, and awarded them to the Pleasant Grove Police Department.

According to the release, the funds came at a time where the police department has struggled to reach full staff due to the 2011 tornadoes which ravaged the area, losing the city a significant portion of its population and tax base. The department has been short three officers, including its school resource and narcotics officers, ever since.

The funds were used for the purpose of purchasing equipment, such as two new patrol cars, duty weapons for all officers, new patrol rifles in the vehicles, tasers for every officer and enhanced body armor for all officers designed to stop rifle fire in the case of active shooter events.

In addition to the equipment, officers will also receive advanced trauma training and trauma kits have been placed in every patrol car.

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