Washington State Law Enforcement Awarded Nearly $8 Million in Grant Funding to Enhance Policing and Forensic Science
Variety of Grants Fund Range of Projects from Cameras to Increased DNA Testing
Law enforcement agencies in Western Washington are getting nearly $8 million in federal grant funding for a range of projects designed to enhance community safety and improve crime fighting technologies, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. The funded projects vary in size and scope, but all were proposed by local and state law enforcement based on needs in their departments. The grants were awarded by the Office of Justice programs in a number of different categories: Forensic Science; Justice Assistance; Criminal History Records Improvement and DNA Backlog Reduction.
“In awarding these grants the Office of Justice Programs looks for demonstrated need and a clear vision of how federal support can enhance community safety in our neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “I congratulate our law enforcement partners who obtained grant funding.”
State and local law enforcement agencies will receive more than $4.7 million under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance program. The largest grant of $3.4 million is administered by the Washington State Department of Commerce to fund various anti-gang and drug enforcement task forces. Other local law enforcement grants include:
- Seattle Police - $673,166 – for community policing, equipment and overtime.
- Tacoma Police - $287,469 – for community policing and prosecution programs.
- Snohomish County - $33,664 – for equipment to improve driving and training.
- Everett Police - $45,593 – for video systems and forensic software.
- Marysville Police - $12,956 – for two tracking and narcotics canines.
- Bellingham Police - $39,398 – for conversion of paper records to electronic data and ballistic helmets.
- Kitsap County - $38,053 – for new firearms equipment and technology.
- Bremerton Police - $23,752 – to preserve a community resource specialist position.
- Puyallup Police -$11,115 – for a camera system to enhance security in city parks.
- Thurston County - $25,982 – for computer equipment used in case records management.
- Olympia Police - $17,168 – for training and leadership development.
- Longview Police - $16,389 – to support the salary of school resource officer.
- Clark County - $91,717 – to enhance community policing, and equipment for officer safety.
The second group of grants is the Paul Coverdell Forensic Improvement grants. The Washington State Patrol was awarded $187,245 to purchase needed equipment in crime labs across the state (both state and local) and provide additional training to lab employees. The grant is aimed at reducing some of the backlog in lab reports. The Seattle Police Department also received a $249,999 grant to implement an electronic data system for its Latent Print Unit.
Finally, the Washington State Patrol received a number of grants aimed at improving forensic data collection and testing:
- WSP Crime Lab – $1,585,019 for equipment and overtime to reduce the time delay to process DNA in case submissions and to get DNA into the national database.
- WSP - $421,269 to pay for post-conviction testing of DNA to exonerate the innocent.
- WSP -$569,199 – to update criminal history records in the state database and the National Crime Information Center.
The Coverdell National Forensic Sciences Act of 2000 was named in memory of Georgia Senator Paul Coverdell who fought tirelessly for better support for forensic science labs. The Byrne Grants are named in honor of New York City Police Officer Edward R. Byrne, who was killed in the line of duty on February 26, 1988. Officer Byrne was just 22-years-old.
Additional information about each grant should be available from the grant recipient.