RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam today announced the award of $1.55 million in grants to police departments and sheriff offices throughout the Commonwealth. The grants will enable the agencies to acquire much needed equipment, including crime analysis technology, specialty training for officers, support staff recruitment and officer wellness programs, and purchase Naloxone kits to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses.
The 42 grants announced today were selected from a pool of 249 applications DCJS received for its solicitation issued in January. This is the largest number of applications the agency has received for a grant solicitation in a number of years, indicating the critical need among law enforcement agencies in Virginia. Collectively, the requests for funding totaled more than $8.2 million.
“Our police and sheriffs throughout the Commonwealth are coping with increasing demands for their services while their budgets are increasingly stretched,” said Governor Northam. “We rely on law enforcement to keep us safe each and every day and I am confident that these grants will help address existing gaps and allow them respond to vital needs in their agencies and communities.”
Money for the grants comes from the federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG), which are allocated to the state. In Virginia, JAG funds are administered by the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and its Criminal Justice Services Board. The Board’s Executive Committee approved the grants today.
The Executive Committee also approved a grant to the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety, housed within DCJS, to provide critical public safety training for K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and law enforcement agencies. Within the next six months, twenty-three training events will be held throughout the Commonwealth, providing regional accessibility to information on threat assessment teams, and school safety. Funds will also support technical assistance to threat assessment teams for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education.
“DCJS staff and the Board have done a great job in providing essential funds to law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth, as well as creating additional training opportunities for school safety,” said Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. “It is critical now more than ever that education and public safety officials receive the most up-to-date, innovative trainings to promote and ensure safety in our schools.”
"A tremendous need exists to support law enforcement’s ability to keep our communities safe," said DCJS Director Shannon Dion, noting that the agency had just over $1.55 million available to award. “I am proud that our agency and Board were able to fund 42 grants today, but there are 207 agency requests that were not met today. I am hopeful that we will be able to identify additional opportunities to fund these necessities in the future.”
Information on the localities receiving funding is available on the DCJS website, at www.dcjs.virginia.gov.
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