Skip to main content
Press Release

U.S. Attorney Keefe Announces Additional Grants To North Florida Communities To Address COVID-19 Pandemic

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida,
today announced the award of grants to four law enforcement agencies in the district, with a
combined total of $975,300. Department of Justice grants are awarded to help those agencies respond
to the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The grants – awarded to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Tallahassee Police Department, Panama
City Police Department, and Escambia County Sheriff’s Office – are being provided under the
Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by recent stimulus legislation
signed by President Trump. Numerous other communities within the Northern District of Florida are
eligible for funding under the grant program, and the Justice Department is moving quickly to award
grants on a rolling basis, aiming to have funds available for drawdown as soon as possible after
receiving applications.

“Throughout the many weeks our district and the nation have been dealing with the threat of
COVID-19, our public safety first responders have worked tirelessly to make sure members of the
public are safe,” U.S. Attorney Keefe said. “The resources of local agencies have been stretched
thin, and these grant funds will help ease the financial burden on public safety agencies so they
can continue protecting and serving our citizens.”
The grant awards announced include:
    •    Escambia County Sheriff’s Office:     $370,107
    •    Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office:     $127,963
    •    Panama City Police Department:       $73,818
    •    Tallahassee Police Department:        $403,412

“The outbreak of COVID-19 and the public health emergency it created are sobering reminders that
even the most routine duties performed by our nation’s public safety officials carry potentially
grave risks,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the
Office of Justice Programs. “These funds will provide hard-hit communities with critical
resources to help mitigate the impact of this crisis and give added protection to the brave
professionals charged with keeping citizens safe.”

The law establishing the grant program allows jurisdictions considerable latitude in the use of
these funds for dealing with COVID-19. Potential uses include hiring personnel, paying overtime,
purchasing protective equipment, distributing resources to hard-hit areas, and addressing inmate
medical needs.

Agencies that were eligible for the fiscal year 2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice
Assistance Grant Program are candidates for receiving the emergency funding. Local units of
government will receive direct awards separately according to their jurisdictions’ allocations.

The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance,
and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims,
and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More
information about OJP and its components can be found at

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that
serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access
available public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Florida
website. For more information about the United States Attorne  ’s Office for
the Northern District of Florida, visit


U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Florida
(850) 216-3845

Updated June 12, 2020