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Thursday, January 21st, 2021

Justice Department awards $536M to various community public safety initiatives

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The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) awarded more than $536 million in fiscal year 2020 for various policing, school safety, and anti-opioid efforts.

The money went to various programs to increase law enforcement hiring and improve school safety, combat opioids and methamphetamine, advance community policing efforts, provide training to the law enforcement field, and protect officers and deputies’ health.

“Building on the successes in reducing violent crime in 2017, 2018, and 2019, these Department of Justice grants for 2020 help to fight violent crime and deadly narcotics, to improve public safety, and to support the officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said. “Strong partnerships of federal, state, and local law enforcement can produce better results for the public we all serve.”

The awards included nearly $400 million for the COPS Hiring Program (CHP). This grant funding was awarded to 605 law enforcement agencies across the nation, which will allow them to hire 2,761 additional full-time law enforcement professionals.

Further, $49 million went to the School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP). The $49 million was awarded to 160 states, units of local government, Indian tribes, and public agencies to improve security at schools and on school grounds.

Also, $29 million went to the Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) Program. This funding was awarded to 14 state law enforcement agencies in states with high per capita rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and other opioids.

In addition, $12 million went to the COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP). The money was awarded to 12 state law enforcement agencies that have demonstrated numerous seizures of precursor chemicals, finished methamphetamine, laboratories, and laboratory dump seizures.

“Supporting the men and women of law enforcement as they serve their communities is of paramount importance to the COPS Office,” COPS Office Director Phil Keith said. “Now more than ever, it is critical that we continue to provide state, local and tribal agencies the resources they desperately need to continue to advance public safety, which they are so committed to doing. We are all the beneficiaries of that work.”