County law enforcement to get slice of recovery pie

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By Angye Morrison

President Barack Obama announced last week the release of $2 billion in Recovery Act 2009 funding allocations for state and local law enforcement assistance through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program – and Gadsden County will be getting a slice of the pie.

The program allows states and local governments to support a range of activities to prevent and control crime and improve the justice system on both levels. These include law enforcement, prosecution, court, prevention, education, corrections, drug treatment, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, crime victim and crime witness programs.

Gadsden County is earmarked to receive $111,605. Neighboring Tallahasse will receive $715,006, while Leon County will get $175,863.

Miami-Dade County gets the largest slice, receiving $3,794,013, while Lake Mary City gets the smallest amount at $10,005.

The state of Florida will receive a total of $135,119,422. Of that total, $81,537,096 is for the state and $53,582,326 is for local governments.

“These funds are a vital component in our effort to not just revive our economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity and security,” Obama said. “By keeping police officers on the streets whose jobs were threatened by budget cuts and ensuring states and municipalities have the tools and equipment necessary to fight crime, this money will simultaneously help jumpstart the American economy and protect our citizens.”

The funds are allocated based on population and violent crime statistics, in combination with a minimum allocation to ensure that each state will receive a portion of the funds. Sixty percent is awarded to states, while the remainder is given to more than 5,000 local communities.

According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the assistance funds received through this program have a start date of March 1, and there is a statutory 4-year period within which the funds must be spent.