(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney Bill Powell of the Northern District of West Virginia today announced that the city of Wheeling received $145,513 in Department of Justice grants to respond to the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.
The grant, awarded to the city of Wheeling is available under the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump. Those jurisdictions can find out if they are eligible and apply immediately by visiting this website. The Justice Department is moving quickly, awarding grants on a rolling basis and aiming to have funds available for drawdown as soon as possible after receiving applications.
“Wheeling is one of the many cities in our district that is impacted by COVID-19. The funding will assist the city with addressing the pandemic comprehensively and effectively,” said Powell.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 and the public health emergency it created are sobering reminders that even the most routine duties performed by our nation’s public safety officials carry potentially grave risks,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “These funds will provide hard-hit communities with critical resources to help mitigate the impact of this crisis and give added protection to the brave professionals charged with keeping citizens safe.”
The law gives jurisdictions considerable latitude in the use of these funds for dealing with COVID-19. Potential uses include hiring personnel, paying overtime, purchasing protective equipment, distributing resources to hard-hit areas and addressing inmates’ medical needs.
Agencies that were eligible for the fiscal year 2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program are candidates for the emergency funding. Local units of government and tribes will receive direct awards separately according to their jurisdictions’ allocations.
The Office of Justice Programs, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems.