Grant will help local law enforcement in Virginia strengthen relationships with local communities

virginiaGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday the availability of $750,000 in Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funds for training and equipment for local law enforcement agencies to help strengthen their relationship with their local communities in support of his “Policing in the 21st Century” initiative.

Police agencies, sheriff’s departments and regional training academies will be invited to submit grant proposals aimed at addressing, issues like, cultural diversity, de-escalation techniques, community relations and communications supports. The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) administers Virginia’s JAG funds and will award the grants to successful applicants.

“Building strong relationships within their communities is an essential part of the important public safety work our law enforcement agencies do,” Governor McAuliffe said. “It’s critical that officers get the training and tools they need to build trust and cooperation while enforcing the law effectively and fairly.”

“Building and sustaining trusting relationships with their communities remains the foundation for law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth as they confront difficult questions relating to the state of police-community relations and engage in culturally responsive policing,” said Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, who oversees DCJS. “I applaud the Governor’s investment in building trust and legitimacy in police- community relations. We know that law enforcement agencies throughout the Commonwealth are working hard to implement strategies that promote inclusivity and enhance community trust.”

“We encourage all law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth wishing to find creative, effective ways to partner with their communities to apply for this grant,” said DCJS Director Francine Ecker.  “At this time of limited resources, we hope these grants will enable them to expand their training for the betterment of public safety in general, and for each community in particular.”

Information about applying for a grant, including grant guidelines and the required application forms, is available from the DCJS website, at Grant applications will be reviewed by staff at DCJS and by a subcommittee of the Department’s policy body, the Criminal Justice Services Board (CJSB).  The subcommittee’s recommendations will be submitted to the full Board for final action in early December.


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