Leahy Announces more than $2.4 Million In Support Of Law Enforcement, Substance Abuse Prevention

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced Vermont law enforcement agencies and related justice programs received grants totaling more than $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant awards were included in Fiscal Year 2014 spending and will support local and state efforts to reduce crime and tackle the state’s substance abuse problems. Among the grant awards is funding provided through the Leahy-authored Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program.

Leahy, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the senior most member of the Senate Appropriations Committee said, “As a former prosecutor, I know these grants will assist local law enforcement agencies across Vermont in making our communities safer.  Supporting programs that confront opioid addiction, we can take a step toward ridding our state of this blight, and I am proud that the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program is again providing local law enforcement agencies with the resources they need to keep our officers safe.”

The recent awards totaling $2,453,346 include:

  • $826,282 for the Vermont Department of Public Safety through five grant programs comprised of:
    • $220,600 through the National Criminal History Improvement Program, to ensure the accuracy of records used in law enforcement.
    • $200,000 through the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program, to increase capacity to process DNA samples in a timely manner.
    • $63,029 through the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants, to help improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services.
    • $300,389 through the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. The funding works to prevent and reduce misuse and abuse of prescription drugs and aid in investigations of pharmaceutical crimes.
    • $42,264 through the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners Program, helping to break the cycle of drugs and violence by reducing the demand for, use, and trafficking of illegal drugs.
    • $649,871 from nine Byrne-JAG grants to help state and local police departments enhance law enforcement capabilities. The Vermont grantees are: Burlington - $56,852; Brattleboro - $21,073; St. Albans  - $14,251; Rutland - $25,015; State of Vermont - $483,863; Barre - $13,341; Colchester - $12,280; Springfield $12,735; Winooski $10,461.
    • $393,667 to the Vermont Department of Children and Families to support programs that address delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system.
    • $250,000 in Community Oriented Policing Services awards, to be split by Windsor and Winooski Police Departments to each hire one additional police officer.  
    • $235,538 to Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force/ Burlington Police Department to expand capacity. Funding will support increased investigative training and school-based education programs and materials related to cyber safety.
    • $30,404 for Vermont Student Assistance Corporation through the John R. Justice Program, providing loan repayment assistance for state and federal public defenders and state prosecutors who commit to these positions for at least three years.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded $67,584 to Vermont law enforcement agencies through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program, to help purchase life-saving protective vests. Since its inception the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program has helped police departments across Vermont buy more than 4300 vests for law enforcement officers, and more than one million vests have been purchased through the program nationwide. This round of grants will help 27 jurisdictions in Vermont to purchase 191 vests.  

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