Leahy: More Than $3 Million Headed To Vermont To Boost Law Enforcement And Criminal Justice Programs

. . . Funding Will Help Buy New Bulletproof Vests for Nearly 200 Officers

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2015) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that more than $3 million in U.S. Department of Justice grants will be coming to Vermont to support programs aimed at reducing crime, tackling heroin abuse, and protecting Vermont’s local and state law enforcement officers.  The funding, included in Fiscal Year 2015 appropriations legislation, includes $70,977 to help 23 local police and sheriff departments to buy 196 new bulletproof vests for their officers.

Leahy, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, authored the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program and successfully fought for its reauthorization in the Senate this year.  He said the program, which provides matching funds for departments to purchase bulletproof vests, is vital to small communities that struggle under tight budgets to keep their officers safe.  Leahy frequently hears from Vermont law enforcement officers about the escalating presence of powerful weapons being found at the scene of drug investigations.  Since its inception, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program has helped police departments across Vermont buy more than 4500 protective vests for law enforcement officers.

“We continue to ask our police to do more to protect our citizens, to fight drug trafficking and to respond to domestic violence calls in the middle of the night.  In return, we must do all that we can to protect them in the line of duty,” Leahy said.  “We owe that to them and to their families.”

In addition to the vest program, the funding will include a $465,672 Byrne-JAG grant award for the Vermont Department of Public Safety to support the Vermont Drug Task Force.  This is in addition to a $1.4 million grant recently announced by Leahy to create a special Anti-Heroin Task Force within that agency.  Leahy, who is also the most senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, authored the language that funded six such heroin task forces nationwide.

The recent awards for law enforcement totaling $3,005,087 include:

  • $575,628 from five Byrne-JAG grant awards to help state and local police departments enhance law enforcement capabilities. In addition to award for the Vermont Department of Public Safety Award, other Vermont awards are: $44, 551 for the City of Burlington; $23,697 for the City of Rutland; $17,062 for the Town of Brattleboro; $10,021 for the City of Winooski; and $14,625 for the City of St. Albans.
  • $250,000 in Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Rutland Town Police Department. Each Department will receive a $125,000 grant to support the hiring of an additional officer in each community.
  • $235,000 for the Vermont Attorney General’s office participation in the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
  • $1,000,000 for the Vermont Department of Corrections through the Second Chance Act program to meet statewide goals in reducing prison recidivism rates.
  • $393,667 to address delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system.
  • $945,487 for the Vermont Department of Public Safety which includes the above mentioned Byrne-JAG award and
    • $45,583 from Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners (RSAT) program to help break the cycle of drugs and violence by reducing the demand for, use, and trafficking of illegal drugs;
    • $150,000 from the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program to increase capacity to process DNA samples in a timely manner;
    • $63,705 from the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program to help improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services;
    • $167,137 from State Justice Program for Statistical Analysis Centers; and $55,390 from the National Criminal History Improvement Program, to ensure the accuracy of records used in law enforcement.

Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program Awards for Vermont

Barre City                               14 vests

Barre Town                             1 vest

Bennington County                8 vests

Bennington                             12 vests

Berlin Town                             2 vests

Brandon                                  9 vests

Brattleboro                               6 vests

Burlington                               30 vests

Colchester                               6 vests

Essex Junction Village            15 vests

Grand Isle County                  4 vests

Hartford                                   5 vests

Middlebury                             4 vests

Milton                                     1 vest

Morristown                             3 vests

Randolph                                5 vests

Rutland City                           10 vests

Shelburne Town                      5 vests

S. Burlington                           11 vests

Springfield                              6 vests

St Albans City                        8 vests

Thetford                                  6 vests

Washington County                25 vests

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Press Contact
David Carle: 202-224-3693

Press Contact

Press Contact
David Carle: 202-224-3693