08.28.09

Another $1.32 M. In Federal Grants Awarded To Vermont Law Enforcers

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday that eight Vermont communities, as well as the Vermont Department of Public Safety (VDPS), will receive more than $1.32 million in federal grants to help combat crime.  The grants will provide police departments across the state with funding for equipment, training other and resources.

More than $1 million in grants were awarded through the Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG).  The Byrne program awards competitive grants to state and local jurisdictions to help fight crime in their own communities by addressing individual law enforcement needs.  The grants will be used for law enforcement, prevention, education, drug treatment and crime victim programs, as well as for planning, training, evaluation and technology improvement programs.  A Byrne grant of nearly $850,000 to VDPS will be used to fund the successful Vermont Drug Task Force.  Leahy has also led in securing additional resources for the Task Force, to help address drug-crime issues in Vermont communities.

“Vermont’s law enforcement community has a good record of using this federal partnership help in working to counter crime,” said Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Justice Department.  “These grants are also help enable cooperation across jurisdictional boundaries.  Providing federal assistance for law enforcement to help strengthen our communities and ensure public safety is a sound investment, and these grants will help ensure that our law enforcement officers continue to receive the tools and training needed to keep Vermont safe.”

Leahy also announced that the Vermont Department of Public Safety has received two additional grants from the Department of Justice totaling more than $160,000.  A $100,000 grant from the Forensic DNA Backlog Reduction Program will help expedite the processing of DNA samples awaiting analysis in Vermont crime labs.  The Department of Public Safety has also been awarded an additional $61,000 from Project Safe Neighborhoods, which will be used to target gun crimes.  On Monday, Senator Leahy announced more than $1 million in additional federal grants to VDPS from a Leahy-authored provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act designed to help rural states prevent and combat crime.  So far this fiscal year Vermont has received more than $2.5 million in federal assistance to support state and local law enforcement efforts.

Communities receiving funds from the Byrne JAG program include Barre, Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, Colchester, Franklin County, Rutland, South Burlington, Springfield, and St. Albans.

  • Barre: Awarded $12,187 to purchase equipment for the Barre Police Department, including the replacement of aging portable radios.
  • Bennington: Awarded $24,097 for training in community policing, drug enforcement, special tactics, gang enforcement and child abuse investigations for the Bennington Police Department.
  • Brattleboro: Awarded $22,158 to provided drug and gang interdiction patrols
  • Burlington: Awarded $121,870 to enhance community policing, engage city neighborhoods in crime prevention strategy, provide support to victims of crime, and strengthen its community outreach program, in particular outreach to youth.
  • Colchester: Awarded $20,219 to update aging communications equipment.
  • Franklin County: Awarded $15,511 to provide upgraded equipment and uniforms for Franklin County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers and officers.
  • Rutland: Awarded $34,899 to help the city police department purchase communications and surveillance equipment, personal protection equipment, and to cover overtime costs associated with targeted policing efforts and investigations.
  • South Burlington: Awarded $13,849 to support the South Burlington Police Department’s Patrol Rifle Program.
  • Springfield:  Awarded $15,788 to make security enhancements to the police department and officer safety.
  • St. Albans:  Awarded $30,744 to replace aging equipment and expand upon newly created programs, emergency response communications and community partnerships to continue to address the crime trends in St. Albans.
  • Vermont Department of Public Safety:  Awarded $849,901 to fund the Vermont Drug Task Force, a specialized law enforcement unit consisting of both state and local officers established to fight illegal drugs.

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