$6 Mill. in Federal Funds to Fight Crime in Md. Communities - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

$6 Mill. in Federal Funds to Fight Crime in Md. Communities

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced Friday that $6,062,413 in federal grant funding has been awarded from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to municipalities across Maryland through the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (BJAG) program. These funds will be used to support public safety activities and reduce violent crime as well as crimes against victims and children throughout Maryland, including Salisbury and Cambridge.

Senator Mikulski is Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Subcommittee, which fund DOJ. Senator Cardin is a member of the Senate Finance Committee.

“I've heard from state and local police from all over Maryland and around the country that the lack of funding means fewer cops on our streets fighting gangs, drugs, and child predators and fewer prosecutions of criminals,” Chairwoman Mikulski said. “State and local law enforcement have been stretched and stressed, forced to do more with less. That's why I continue fighting so hard to put this funding in the federal checkbook. I am committed to giving law enforcement the tools they need to protect community safety, protect our families and fight crime.”

“Keeping our neighborhoods safe from harm takes vigilance and professionalism, but it also takes continual training, proper resources and equipment, growth in manpower and effective court systems,” said Senator Cardin. “This smart federal investment by the Department of Justice will bolster the effectiveness of Maryland's law enforcement and make our streets and communities safer for Maryland families.”

This formula program allows state and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime, and to improve the criminal justice system. Byrne JAG funding is fast, flexible and effective in helping states and communities address emerging crime problems.

BJAG is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. Grants are administered through DOJ's Office of Justice Programs, and awarded based on a formula of population and violent crime statistics. The program provides critical funding needed to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution and court programs, prevention and education programs, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, crime victim and witness initiatives, and planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs.

Maryland law enforcement agencies receiving funds from the Byrne JAG program include the following:

     - The Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) - $3,817,597. The GOCCP will use these federal funds to: identify high risk offenders, especially gun offenders and hold them accountable; improve outcomes for offenders through effective re-entry services; enhance warrant service to swiftly remove violent offenders from the streets; maximize the use of DNA samples and findings to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent; expand efforts to reduce illegal gun use and possession; modernize crime fighting and information sharing by maximizing the use of the best available technology; and ensure that all crime victims in Maryland are treated with dignity and respect that their rights are upheld, and that funding is made available to provide assistance and support.

     - City of Annapolis - $16,560. The City of Annapolis will use these federal funds to identify select training opportunities that will educate officers and senior civilians in key topical areas. Such areas may include forensic statement analysis, constitutional police standards, and the use of social media for community policing.

     - Anne Arundel County - $208,214. These federal funds will be used by Anne Arundel County to provide funding to organizations within the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council that promote efficient and effective processing of criminal and juvenile cases from arrest through ultimate disposition.

     - City of Baltimore - $771,963. The City of Baltimore will use these federal funds to serve as a support mechanism to the city's crime prevention and public safety strategy, allocate resources to maintain safer communities, and stimulate economic growth through employment opportunities. Specifically, the applicant will use their 2014 JAG funds to: expand/improve upon crime prevention capacity and efforts; ensure the continuation of successful community-based crime prevention programs; and create/preserve jobs associated with crime reduction strategies.

     - Baltimore County - $363,230. These federal funds will be used by Baltimore County to continue the retention of law enforcement positions. The funds will cover the salary and fringe benefits of police officers and a criminal records processor.

     - Calvert County - $11,440. Calvert County will use these federal funds to support law enforcement initiatives. Funds will be used to purchase equipment upgrades and supplies, including gun belts, tasers, radio batteries and holders, and smartphone services. The project goal is to enhance essential law enforcement services.

     - Cecil County - $35,808. These federal funds will be used by Cecil County to purchase entry/breaching tools for patrol units responding to active shooter incidents; purchase night vision equipment to conduct surveillance for combating open air drug sales and gun violence; and replace outdated laptops to be used by the Patrol Division, K-9, and Special Operations Division.

     - Charles County - $49,565. Charles County will use these federal funds for equipment upgrades and to fund a portion of the drug court coordinator's salary.

     - City of Cumberland - $14,729. These federal funds will be used by the City of Cumberland to support law enforcement initiatives. Funds will be used to purchase tasers and related accessories. The project goal is to enhance officer safety throughout the County.

     - City of Dorchester - $10,439. The City of Dorchester will use these federal funds to purchase patrol car equipment, including light bars, radios, and sirens. The equipment purchase will improve law enforcement services for the city of Cambridge.

     - City of Frederick - $49,908. These federal funds will be used by the City of Frederick to purchase law enforcement equipment and supplies.

     - City of Greenbelt - $12,012. The City of Greenbelt will use these federal funds to purchase printers and scanners that will be used in patrol vehicles. The upgraded technology will provide better, more efficient service to the community and enhance officer safety.

     - City of Hagerstown - $16,074. These federal funds will be used by the City of Hagerstown to deploy proactive and strategic policing strategies based on evidence-based policing. The goal of this project is to maximize law enforcement services in the city.

     - Harford County - $41,900. Harford County will use these federal funds to purchase equipment and provide training that will aid in the recognition and referral of individuals suffering from mental illness; purchase night vision lenses and cameras to assist with covert surveillance activities; purchase GPS devices that will track the movements of criminals in the county; and fund advanced training in analysis techniques.

     - Howard County - $49,451. These federal funds will be used by Howard County to fund overtime, conduct saturation patrols, and continue refresher training for officers in Emergency Vehicle Operator's Courses (EVOC).

     - Montgomery County - $146,207. Montgomery County will use these federal funds to replace their aging less lethal tasers. The goals of the program are 1) reduce injury to subjects being taken into custody; 2) reduce injury to the sworn officers involved on the scene of the incident; 3) reduce department liability by providing a less lethal force option, which is individual specific and does not affect other people in the immediate area.

     - Prince George's County - $376,729. These federal funds will be used by Prince George's County to make system improvements that will reduce crime, provide support to the released offender, and improve officer safety.

     - City of Salisbury - $33,863. The City of Salisbury will use these federal funds to fund technology upgrades. These funds will be used to upgrade the outdated and failing camera security system.

     - St. Mary's County - $20,593. These federal funds will be used by St. Mary's County to support their Taser replacement program. The funds will be used to purchase tasers, compatible holsters, service warranties, and batteries.

     - Washington County - $16,131. Washington County will use these federal funds to purchase speed detecting equipment that will ensure safe travel on the roadways within the county. Funds will also be used to purchase a state of the art evidence tracker system.

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