Northam announces availability of $1 million in grant funds to support law enforcement

ralph northamGovernor Ralph Northam announced that $1 million in grant funds are available to support law enforcement agencies’ efforts to upgrade their technology and equipment, enhance officer recruitment and training, reduce opioid overdose deaths, and promote community safety.

“Now more than ever, our law enforcement officers need advanced skills to respond to the diverse problems they encounter, and their departments need up-to-date technology and equipment to support them,” said Governor Northam. “A top priority of my administration will be to help Virginia’s law enforcement agencies acquire the resources they need to prepare for increasingly complex challenges. I encourage our first responders to apply for these grants as they work to keep our communities safe.”

The grants are federal funds awarded to the Commonwealth by the Justice Department from the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.  In Virginia, the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is the state agency responsible for receiving and administering the JAG funds.

“The incident in Charlottesville last summer demonstrates the importance of officer training and communications technology for law enforcement,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Brian Moran. “But the everyday work of law enforcement also demands much of our officers. We encourage agencies to use these grant funds to help them meet those challenges and support our law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties.”

Agencies can also use these funds to expand their officer recruiting efforts and create programs to help their officers more effectively cope with the stress generated by their work.

“It’s essential for agencies to be able to recruit and employ the most qualified people,” said DCJS Director, Shannon Dion. “They also need to be able to provide support for their officers in dealing with the stressors that are common to law enforcement work. These grant funds will offer them opportunities to do both.”

Details about how to submit grant applications, including contact information can be found here. Applications must be submitted no later than February 23, 2018. Applicants whose proposals are approved will have six months to expend the funds awarded, from April 1 through September 30, 2018.

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