Today President Barack Obama announced that Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice are making available $2 billion Recovery Act 2009 funding allocations for state and local law enforcement and criminal justice assistance, available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.
This funding will be used to help communities keep their neighborhoods safer with more cops, prosecutors, and probation officers; more radios and equipment; more help for crime victims and more crime prevention programs for youth.
JAG Program funds can be used for a variety of efforts such as hiring law enforcement officers; supporting drug and gang task forces; funding crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and supporting courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.
The procedure for allocating JAG grants is based on a formula of population and violent crime statistics, in combination with a minimum allocation to ensure that each state and territory receives an appropriate share of funding.
· 60 % of the allocation is awarded directly to a state and 40% is set aside for units of local government.
· Funding will be used by states and more than 5,000 local communities to enhance their ability to protect communities and combat crime.
The Recovery Act includes more than $4 billion overall to assist state, local and tribal law enforcement and for other criminal justice activities that help to prevent crime and improve the criminal justice system in the United States while supporting the creation of jobs and much needed resources for states and local communities.
To see the breakdown of JAG allocations for states, territories, and units of local government, visit http://www.recovery.gov/.
Because of these funds, 25 police recruits in Columbus, Ohio are graduating today, after they learned in January that instead of being sworn-in as officers they would be let go. Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman announced last week that he would use money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to pay the recruits’ salaries so they could keep their jobs.
Here are other examples of how the money will be used:
In Providence, RI, Police Chief Dean Esserman intends to use the Recovery Act funding for operational overtime, focusing on the violence reduction efforts he has ongoing. His priorities are gun violence reduction and gang violence prevention – and the extra funding to provide for preventive patrol will be so useful.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says his number one priority for use of the Byrne JAG funding in the Recovery Act is to retain cops who he would otherwise have to fire because of severe municipal funding cutbacks. His second priority is hiring of civilians in the police department to free up sworn officers.
The New Jersey State Police is looking to hire crime analysts for its all-crimes all-hazards Fusion Center. This will allow the State Police to keep sworn officers on the street and to develop tactical approaches for fighting gun and drug trafficking, as well as gang violence and terrorism threats. The analysts are the backbone of the Fusion Center and their work supports the troopers, as well