(STL.News) – Today, the Department of Justice announced awards of more than $122 million to support public safety efforts in Michigan. The funds will help law enforcement agencies and community organizations in jurisdictions across the state fight gun, gang, drug and sexual violence, and bring criminals to justice.
“The fight against crime is a never-ending one, and it is our front-line law enforcement officers who lead that fight, working around the clock to take criminals off the street while partnering with service providers to reduce and prevent crime, serve victims and at-risk youth, and combat domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “Attorney General Barr is very pleased to make these resources available to the citizens of Michigan, who deserve to know that the Department of Justice is doing everything in its power to secure their communities, safeguard their schools and homes, and deliver justice on their behalf.”
The awards include funds to hire and train law enforcement officers and to support state, local and tribal law enforcement activities. Funding will help agencies purchase body-worn cameras, investigate child exploitation cases, address domestic and sexual violence, improve criminal history records and administer victim service programs. Funds will also help jurisdictions prevent school violence, provide inmate reentry services, apply DNA technology to solving crimes and combat opioid and other drug abuse.
“We are proud to make these critical public safety resources available to help Michigan’s brave law enforcement officers reduce crime and protect the citizens of this great state,” said Phil Keith, Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. “We are also grateful for the hard work, strong commitment and outstanding leadership of U.S. Attorneys Matthew Schneider and Andrew Birge, who represent the Justice Department’s most vital link between Washington and the communities of their districts. We congratulate the award recipients and look forward to seeing the benefits that these investments will yield.”
“The grants announced today will give Michigan sheriffs and city police departments more resources to keep Michigan safe, and we hope these funds will offset some of the recent state budget cuts in Lansing,” said Matthew Schneider, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. “These grants will also provide community service organizations tools to help crime victims, keep our schools safe, and protect elder Michiganders from abuse. Our local law enforcement partners are the best in the country, and I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with them to protect the citizens of Michigan.”
“These awards are welcome news for our state, local and tribal law enforcement partners,” said Andrew Birge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. “Large and small departments alike throughout West Michigan face resource challenges. These awards will help them achieve their shared mission of securing the safety and well-being of our communities.”
Director Keith and Mike Costigan, Chief of Staff for OJP, highlighted the awards at today’s Rural Policing Forum, which was organized by the COPS Office, OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan. The session was held to solicit input from rural and tribal law enforcement on the challenges they face and the resources they need. The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices lead the Justice Department’s crime-fighting efforts in the state, coordinating with local prosecutors and federal and local law enforcement agencies under the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative.
The awards were made by the three grant-making components of the Department of Justice—OJP, the COPS Office and the Office on Violence Against Women.