The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grants were awarded to several law enforcement agencies in Delaware, Thursday; funding the Congressional Delegation says is critical when it comes to crime protection and prevention on a local level.
“All across the country, these JAG funds work to preserve and create public safety jobs and strengthen our existing forces,” said Sen. Tom Carper.
Sen. Carper, along with Sen. Chris Coons and Congressman John Carney, all D-Del, announced more than $1.6 million in federal funds would be divvied up among the Town of Middletown, the cities of Newark and Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware State Police and the Delaware Criminal Justice Council.
As former chair of Delaware’s Criminal Justice Council, Congressman Carney says the funding gives police officers and local governments resources they might need on a one-time basis, that would otherwise go by the wayside in this economic climate.
“It’s flexible money – it’s money that can go to personnel training, it can go to equipment that’s badly needed. Some of the things that the regular budgets of your city, your county, your towns and localities just can’t support on a year in and year out basis.”
Sen. Coons, with many years of experience at the county level under his belt, says he saw firsthand how significant a role JAG grants played to support programs within law enforcement.
“Why do they make a difference? Well first because budgets are under huge pressure,” said Coons. During his speech he pointed out Delaware State Police plans to use its $75,000 piece of the pie to hire a ballistics examiner.
“That’s exactly the sort of thing in budget constrained times that doesn’t get attention,” said Coons. “But if you don’t have quick clearance of ballistics examinations, you can have four completely, apparently unrelated shootings that were all committed by the same criminal and if you don’t find that out for six months or a year you’ve lost the opportunity to close the case.”
FY 2012 funding breakdown
Six agencies will split the $1.6 million in JAG funding. Half of the recipients say they’ll use a portion of the money to pay overtime for increased patrols in high crime hot spots, but it’s up to the respective agencies to determine how exactly the money will be spent.
Delaware Criminal Justice Council – $1,056,793
OT for police patrols in the city of Wilmington
technological advances for the courts, law enforcement and criminal justice system
sex offender management and gang enforcement
City of Wilmington – $241,000
mobile field equipment
high volume scanners
cold case investigator
New Castle County – $230,930
OT for increased county police patrols
officer training and safety
equipment for criminal investigations
Delaware State Police – $75,000
City of Newark – $25,137
OT for police foot patrols
Middletown – $13,113
ammunition and training rounds for its newly formed SWAT team and officers
The Byrne JAG funding is named after Edward Byrne, a New York City police officer killed in the line of duty in 1988, while protecting a witness.