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Wheeling, Moundsville Technology Centers Funded Through Mollohan Efforts

WASHINGTON - Two Ohio Valley centers that help train and equip workers serving in some of the country's most dangerous jobs will get $3.8 million in new federal funding, Congressman Alan B. Mollohan said today.

Mollohan, D-W.Va., said that the money will go to Wheeling's Office of Law Enforcement Technology Commercialization (OLETC) and Moundsville's National Corrections and Law Enforcement Training and Technology Center (NCLETTC).

He placed the funds in the federal government's final spending bill for the 2005 budget year. President Bush signed the measure into law earlier this month.

"In countless situations every single day, America's police and corrections officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and hazardous materials specialists put themselves at risk in order to protect and serve the rest of us," Mollohan said.

"One of the ways that we can support them, in turn, is by investing in programs to help them to carry out their duties with greater safety and efficiency. That's the thinking behind both OLETC and NCLETTC, and I am proud to continue to work to fund these organizations through my position on the House Appropriations Committee," he added.

Mollohan said that OLETC and NCLETTC will receive $2.8 million and $1 million, respectively. Both centers will use the money to continue to target the needs of the law enforcement and first responder communities.

OLETC's mission is to work on the national level to help commercialize innovative technologies for the law enforcement and corrections communities. It brings together research and private industry to put affordable, market-driven technologies into the hands of law enforcement and corrections personnel.

Director Nick Tomlin said that his center has helped to commercialize 14 technologies in 2004, bringing its five-year total to 53.

Those successes include numerous high-tech items such as the Mobile Emergency Response System. The system enables users to capture information in the field, transmit it along with a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) record of time and location, and integrate all of the information into a geographic database. Other commercialization successes include non-lethal systems that protect law enforcement officers in confrontational situations.

More than 100 technologists and entrepreneurs are currently receiving OLETC assistance.

"Building on the foundation of past achievement, we at OLETC look to the future with confidence, optimism and great anticipation of continued success," Tomlin said.

NCLETTC, which is based at the former West Virginia penitentiary, also recorded a number of successes in 2004.

According to Executive Director Steve Morrison, more than 3,200 people - mostly law enforcement officers and other first responders - received training last year either at the Moundsville Center or through its mobile training team. The 76 courses that NCLETTC provided covered subjects ranging from crisis negotiation to inmate transport to patrol rifle tactics.

The organization also reports solid progress in establishing its new annex at Glenville State College. The facility, located on the third floor of Louis Bennett Hall, includes classrooms and a computer lab. A crime lab is currently being developed to complete the annex.

In addition to the ongoing development of its programs in Moundsville and Glenville, the funding will enable NCLETTC to continue to host the popular Mock Prison Riot and Mock Disaster held each year at the former penitentiary.

The Mock Prison Riot, jointly sponsored by OLETC and NCLETTC, is one example of collaboration between the two organizations. They also have teamed together to introduce new and emerging technology products, and demonstrate the training required to successfully use them.

Morrison and Tomlin say that through such efforts, they are able to dynamically leverage the capabilities of their organizations.

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