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Press Release

Attorney General Holder Announces $1.5 Million to
Reimburse Support Efforts to Victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Attorney General Eric Holder today announced a $1,519,713 grant to reimburse organizations and agencies that provided direct support to victims, first responders and the community in the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012.  The Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) provided this grant to the Connecticut Judicial Branch, which administers funding for services to victims of violent crime.  This initial award will be used toward costs incurred by those organizations that provided crisis intervention services, trauma-informed care, select victim-related law enforcement support and costs incurred in moving students from Sandy Hook to a new school location.  OVC is working directly with Newtown city officials and the state of Connecticut to develop an additional grant application to provide more funding for long-term victim recovery.

“This funding will provide critical support to the brave women and men who responded to the devastating violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as the counselors and others who are helping the community to recover,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.  “One year after the senseless violence in Newtown, we continue to mourn the innocent children and selfless adults who were taken from us on that terrible day.  We admire and continue to support the community that has displayed such strength and resilience since then.  And through this grant, and the additional funds that have already been provided to the Newtown Police Department and their law enforcement partners, we reaffirm our commitment to standing with the people of Newtown, the families of the victims, and all who are helping to bring help and healing to those affected by this heartbreaking tragedy.”

“OVC is committed to ensuring that the community of Newtown has the resources necessary to assist victims of this horrific crime,” said OVC Director Joye Frost.  “Almost one year ago, our country was shocked to its core with this senseless slaughter of innocents; we have all mourned the loss of these young children and their courageous teachers.  Through this funding, which will be administered by the Connecticut state government, OVC is supporting the critically important work of the school system, social service and medical organizations and the city government as they continue to assist victims.  I am humbled by the courage and resoluteness of the victims, first responders, educators, town leaders and residents of Newtown for their support of one another and their incredible grace and dignity in the aftermath of this tragedy.”

In 1995, following the Oklahoma City bombing, Congress authorized OVC to set aside and administer up to $50 million annually from the Crime Victims Fund for the Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve Fund to assist victims in extraordinary circumstances.  Following an act of terrorism or mass violence, jurisdictions can apply for an Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) grant award for crisis response, criminal justice support, crime victim compensation and training and technical assistance expenses.  OVC also provided AEAP funds and assistance following the shootings in Oak Creek, Wis. (2012); Aurora, Colo. (2012); Tucson, Ariz. (2011); Binghamton, N.Y. (2009); and at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2007).

 For more information on the AEAP program, please visit: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/AEAP/index.html.

 OVC is one of six components in the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), which is headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason.  OJP provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims.  In addition to OVC, OJP’s components include: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking.  More information about OJP can be found at www.ojp.gov.

Updated September 15, 2014

Press Release Number: 13-1301