Department of Justice Awards Area Law Enforcement Agencies in Excess of $2,500,000 to Support Crime Reduction Efforts and Officer Safety
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that the Department of Justice has awarded several grants to state and local law enforcement agencies in the Middle District of Louisiana. Recipients of those grants include but are not limited to the Louisiana Department of Justice, Louisiana State Police, the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office, the Baton Rouge Police Department, the Denham Springs Police Department, the New Roads Police Department and the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office to support crime reduction efforts and enhance officer safety.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement during the recent National Public Safety Partnership Symposium on Violent Crime in Birmingham, Alabama attended by U.S. Attorney Fremin, Chief Murphy Paul of the Baton Rouge Police Department and Steve Danielson of the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Crime Strategies Unit. The National Public Safety Partnership is a DOJ-wide initiative that enables cities to consult with and receive a coordinated array of resources from DOJ’s programmatic and law enforcement components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; United States Attorneys’ Offices; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Office on Violence Against Women; the Office of Justice Programs; the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; and other federal agencies in order to improve local violence reduction strategies through Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).
PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
Through the enhanced PSN, the Department is targeting the most violent criminals in the most violent areas, utilizing policing tools that did not exist even a few years ago. Tools like Crime Gun Intelligence Centers (CGIC), which combine intelligence from gunshot detection systems, ballistics, gun tracing, and good old-fashioned police work, help to develop real-time leads on the “traffickers and trigger pullers” who are fueling the violence in their communities. By using modern technologies and cutting-edge police work, the Justice Department is deploying resources strategically to provide the greatest return on our community-based anti-violence efforts.
“Project Safe Neighborhoods is a proven program with demonstrated results,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “We know that the most effective strategy to reduce violent crime is based on sound policing policies that have proven effective over many years, which includes being targeted and responsive to community needs. I have empowered our United States Attorneys to focus enforcement efforts against the most violent criminals in their districts, and directed that they work together with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community partners to develop tailored solutions to the unique violent crime problems they face. Each United States Attorney has prioritized the PSN program, and I am confident that it will continue to reduce crime, save lives, and restore safety to our communities.”
As a Public Safety Partnership member site, Baton Rouge will receive over $630,000, awarded to the Office of the East Baton Rouge District Attorney, that will be used to hire personnel to utilize the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) and to purchase technology required to operate a Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) and ammunition for ballistic tests of recovered weapons. The Baton Rouge CGIC is an interagency collaboration of state, local and law enforcement agencies focused on immediate collection, management and analysis of crime gun evidence such as shell casings and test fires of unlawfully used firearms recovered in real time to identify criminal shooters, disrupt criminal activity and prevent future violence.
The Louisiana Department of Justice will receive $315,000 which will be used by the Louisiana Attorney General to focus on protecting children from technology-facilitated sexual exploitation by training and equipping personnel dedicated to the Louisiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program.
The Louisiana State Police will receive approximately $1,200,000 for statewide efforts to: create efficiencies in the validation and analysis of DNA samples at booking stations across the state; and to improve school security by providing resources to Louisiana’s STOP School Violence Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program.
The Baton Rouge City Police will receive over $400,000 which will be used to: support the effort of disrupting gun violence in Baton Rouge through a targeted deployment of officers using technology who will respond to firearm discharges, examine crime scenes, retrieve and process cartridge casings, and speak with community members who may have seen or heard the gunshot(s); provide a secure and anonymous mechanism for students, teachers, parents, and community members at large to report violent incidents as well as behaviors and activities that could lead to school violence; and to purchase much needed equipment.
Denham Springs Police Department will receive $27,000 and New Roads Police Department will receive $18,000 for the Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program. This funding will support the development, implementation and evaluation of body-worn camera program in each of these agencies. The Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office will receive $20,000 for the purchase of additional equipment.
U.S. Attorney Brandon Fremin stated, “During a trip to Washington D.C. earlier this year Attorney General Sessions made it clear to me and to my fellow U.S. Attorneys that one of President Trump’s priorities is to reduce crime in America. General Sessions made a commitment to us to provide resources to our offices and to the districts in which we operate – all in an effort to bolster our already robust crime fighting strategies. The first of those efforts came earlier this year when General Sessions authorized U.S. Attorneys nationwide to hire over 300 Assistant United States Attorneys across the country - we’re adding 10 to my office. Today, I am proud to announce the commitment of federal dollars to further support this effort.” U.S. Attorney Fremin added, “The federal grant money distributed to our state and local partners is yet another example of our commitment to reducing violent crime in our district. As U.S. Attorney, I’ve had many conversations with senior law enforcement officials in our district and I know they are fully prepared to use these additional resources to make our community a safer place to live, work and raise our families. As long as I am U.S. Attorney I will fight for every resource available to assist in this effort.”
Attorney General Jeff Landry stated, “Our Internet Crimes Against Children taskforce is dedicated to protecting Louisiana’s children from predators. The great teamwork by our ICAC partners has resulted in the arrests of perpetrators from all over Louisiana,” said General Landry. “We are grateful to have federal partners who share our commitment to making Louisiana’s communities safer. And we are thankful that U.S. Attorney Fremin and the USDOJ have worked to secure this critical funding to defend our State’s children.”
“LSP remains committed to working alongside our federal and local law enforcement partners as well as school officials to ensure a safe learning environment for Louisiana’s children,” stated Colonel Kevin Reeves, State Police Superintendent. “We are very thankful to the U.S. Department of Justice for their consideration and subsequent grant award to the Louisiana State Police. Through the resources provided by these grants, State Police will begin immediate coordination with our partners to implement the necessary steps to improve school safety in Louisiana.”
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore stated, “We are all very excited to see the federal government invest locally in technology to reduce violent gun crime. This award of $634,000 over the 3 year project timeline will enable our local Crime Strategies Unit and the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab to add personnel and technology to focus on linking expended casings recovered from crime scenes to the guns recovered from defendants; resulting in much more timely and effective prosecutions of the shooters.”
Chief of Police Murphy Paul of the Baton Rouge City Police stated, “I would like to acknowledge United States Attorney Brandon Fremin for his support in reducing violent crime in the City of Baton Rouge. The Baton Rouge Police Department and the United States Attorney’s Office have been working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to target violent offenders involved in felonious activity in the Baton Rouge area. As a result of this partnership, BRPD has been awarded over $400,000 to fund three different law enforcement led programs designed to reduce violent gun crimes, enhance school safety and fund police equipment.”
“The Denham Springs Police Department and City of Denham Springs will be greatly pleased to accept the FY 2018 grant for our body-worn camera initiative. In equipping all of our officers with body-worn cameras we hope to increase officer safety by using audio and video footage for training purposes, increase transparency in our day-to-day operations, increase the accountability of our officers, and reduce frivolous or unfounded complaints and civil actions against our officers,” stated Denham Springs Police Chief Shannon Womack.
The grants announced today build on the Department’s commitment to reducing violent crime in America, as directed by President Trump’s February 2017 Executive Order. The Department has also distributed additional resources and built up strong partnerships with local law enforcement in communities plagued by violent crime. For more information on U.S. Department of Justice grant announcements, visit www.bja.gov.