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WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder joined President Obama in Columbus, Ohio today at the Columbus Police Graduation Exercises to announce $2 billion in Recovery Act 2009 funding allocations for state and local law enforcement and criminal justice assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. In January, 25 Columbus police recruits learned that they would be let go rather than sworn-in; but because of Recovery Act JAG funds these police officers will keep their jobs protecting their community.
"This funding is key to helping our states and local governments fight crime and keep our streets safe," said Attorney General Holder. "The Department of Justice is moving ahead of schedule to allocate these resources so we can retain police officers, enhance law enforcement capabilities, and ensure that we have the tools and equipment necessary to build safer communities."
JAG Program funds can be used for a variety of efforts such as hiring law enforcement officers; supporting drug and gang task forces; funding crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and supporting courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives. The breakdown of JAG allocations for states, territories, and units of local government can be viewed here: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/recoveryJAG/recoveryallocations.html.
The procedure for allocating JAG grants is based on a formula of population and violent crime statistics, in combination with a minimum allocation to ensure that each state and territory receives an appropriate share of funding. Sixty percent of the allocation is awarded directly to a state and 40 percent is set aside for units of local government. Funding will be used by states and more than 5,000 local communities to enhance their ability to protect communities and combat crime.
The Recovery Act includes more than $4 billion overall to assist state, local and tribal law enforcement and for other criminal justice activities that help to prevent crime and improve the criminal justice system in the United States while supporting the creation of jobs and much needed resources for states and local communities.