Lawmakers changed the state’s sex offender registry law earlier this year, but it still falls short of the minimum requirements in the federal Adam Walsh law. That will again reduce the state’s grant under the federal Justice Assistance Grant program by 10 percent. “We have been told by the SMART (U.S. Justice Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking) Office that the changes do not meet their requirements under the Adam Walsh Act,” said Matt Ruel with the State Bureau of Identification, which oversees Maine’s registry.
Last year, the total grant to the state under the program was more than $1.3 million. Because Maine did not meet Walsh Act requirements, the federal government withheld 10 percent of this money. Maine then applied for permission to use the penalty money for improvements to the existing registry. That request was approved. “We will be asking again to do that so I can’t say what the penalty will be this year,” Ruel said. Ruel said the federal program was funded for the first six months of the federal budget year that started Oct. 1, and could be significantly cut in the second half of the year as part of deficit reduction legislation.
OJA has awarded a $50,000 federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) to the Rock County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) for its Behavioral Health and Justice Project. Since its inception in 2006, the Rock County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) has identified mental health and substance abuse in the criminal justice system as top priorities.
The $50,000 JAG grant award will enable the county to develop and implement a strategic plan to help reduce incarceration and promote more successful recovery outcomes for adults and juveniles with mental health and/or substance abuse conditions and other complex needs within the Rock Country behavioral health and criminal justice system. “OJA is pleased to support the work of local Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils as they assess the needs of their community’s criminal justice system and respond with programs and practices that are tailored to local priorities,” said John Murray, Office of Justice Assistance Executive Director.
The local police department has been awarded a $52,000 grant to continue important community policing initiatives in the city, according to authorities. On Thursday, the aldermanic Human Affairs Committee accepted and appropriated a 2012 Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $52,083 from the U.S. Department of Justice. “We are going to try to stretch out the funds,” said Officer Jeff Connors of the Nashua Police Department, explaining it will be used for many programs.
The grant will allow the department's Citizen Police Academy to continue. Since its inception more than two decades ago, more than 900 residents have graduated from the academy. The money will also allow the department to continue offering Rape, Aggression and Defense (RAD) classes for women, and provide extra detectives to perform additional sex offender compliance checks, according to Connors.
Police departments in Asbury Park, Long Branch and Neptune plan to share a $64,811 federal grant so they can upgrade technology. Neptune will administer the funds received in August from the federal Department of Justice’s 2012 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to the other two municipalities, said Michael Bascom, the township’s chief financial officer.
Asbury Park intends to use $31,590 from the grant to pay for 20 new police radios, according to the application. The radios are expected to enhance the quality of communication for officers from the radios they currently use. ong Branch plans to use $10,945 from the grant to upgrade a portion of the mobile data terminals in patrol vehicles, according to the application. The terminals allow officers to access the city’s computerized dispatch system and New Jersey State Police records system.
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Border Security Center recently received a $900,000 grant from the Department of Justice to continue its work training local law enforcement officers to combat drug trafficking problems in areas bordering Mexico, according to a press release issued by U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman's office.The award was announced on Aug. 28. "This is the third year that we have gotten this award," said Thomas Guengerich, Tech's public information officer. "In other words, this is continued funding for our existing Border Security Center."
U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congressman John Carney (all D-Del.), announced more than $1.6 million in funding for New Castle County communities from the Department of Justice. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant (JAG) Program's grants were awarded to the Town of Middletown, the Cities of Newark and Wilmington, New Castle County, the Delaware State Police and the Delaware Criminal Justice Council.
JAG funding is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. The JAG Program provides states, tribes, and local governments with critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, and crime victim and witness initiatives. The grant award is named after Edward Byrne, who was a New York City police officer murdered in 1988, while guarding a material witness. "All across the country, these JAG funds work to preserve and create public safety jobs and strengthen our existing forces," said Sen. Carper. "We cannot shortchange our future, which is why we will continue to fight for federal funding and projects that give Delaware communities the critical help they need."
"Keeping our communities safe is a top priority that takes dedicated and skilled first responders to do the job well," said Sen. Chris Coons, co-chair of the bi-partisan Senate Law Enforcement Caucus. "JAG funds allow law enforcement agencies to ramp up their technology, training and staffing. As a former New Castle County Executive, I saw first-hand how JAG grants made a significant and positive difference in the way police departments protected citizens. I congratulate all of the agencies that received this funding and I look forward to seeing the benefits of the many vital programs and services these grants will support."
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, has announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded a $13,800 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to support law enforcement officers in Knox County. The funding will be used to purchase software and software licenses in order to increase communications, officer safety, and department efficiency. “Our nation’s law enforcement officers are called upon day after day to protect America’s citizens,” Durbin said. “As these brave men and women put themselves in harm’s way, we must ensure that they are equipped with the best tools possible to do their jobs well, and today’s grant will help meet that goal.”
Delaware officials are set to announce the latest round of federal crime-fighting grants for law enforcement agencies in the state. Members of Delaware's congressional delegation planned to join other officials today to announce the state's Justice Assistance Grant recipients for this year. The JAG Program was created by Congress in 2004 to streamline justice funding and grant administrations. The Delaware Criminal Justice Council received a JAG grant of almost $1.3 billion last year. Local law enforcement agencies across the state shared more than $700,000 in additional grant funds.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin has announced a $475,689 federal grant to support the Charleston Drug Market Intervention initiative. The grant is provided by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of its Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program. Goodwin said, "Safety is unquestionably the single most important characteristic of any neighborhood or community. This grant is more than an allocation of funding - it is an essential investment in the families who live in Charleston."
Goodwin said his office partnered with the Charleston Police Department and other agencies six months ago to aggressively prosecute West Side crime. "Though the DMI initiative has already shown positive results by removing several of the area's most violent criminals from the streets, our work is ongoing," Goodwin said.
The U.S. Department of Justice’sBureau of Justice Assistance has awarded the Kansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program yet another$400,000 grant, a portion of which will investigate how K-TRACS spent the more than $1 million in federal aid it has received since 2009. K-TRACS has been tasked with electronically keeping tabs on prescription drugs distributed by pharmacies statewide, helping medical professionals and pharmaceutical distributors regulate the flow of schedule II, III and IV drugs.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissomsaid prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest growing drug problem, outpacing the combined usage of street drugs like cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants. K-TRACS has received more than $1.3 million in grants from various sources, but $1.2 million has come directly from Bureau of Justice Assistance, courtesy of the Harold Rogers Prescription Monitoring Grant, said K-TRACS Director Christina Morris. “We’ve been really successful in obtaining grant money,” Morris said. K-TRACS first two $400,000 Harold Rogers grants, awarded in 2009 and 2010, were targeted at getting the fledgling agency off the ground. The grants focused primarily on vendor fees and equipment costs, as well as other startup expenses, including salaries for Morris and administrative specialist Aimee Grubb.
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