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RI Delegation Announces Over $3.4 Million in Crime Prevention Funding

WASHINGTON, DC – Rhode Island’s congressional delegation today announced over $3.44 million in federal crime prevention funding for Rhode Island.

The federal funding will help cities, towns, state agencies, and community coalitions reduce youth drug abuse and juvenile delinquency, improve the quality of forensic science and criminal evidence, and stop domestic violence.

“We must ensure our local police have access to the latest crime-solving technology and equipment they need,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees spending on Department of Justice programs. “These federal funds will help cities and towns prevent crime and purchase new equipment to address some of their most pressing needs.”

"This funding will allow our state to better protect its citizens by helping local communities upgrade equipment and training for law enforcement officials, protect victims of domestic violence, and improve our juvenile justice system,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Judiciary Committee.

“We have an obligation to ensure our law enforcement has the tools required to keep our cities and towns safe,” said U.S. Representative Jim Langevin. “These programs are especially important because they not only fund critical equipment and personnel, but also put a needed emphasis on turning youth away from crime and toward productive lives that benefit their communities.”

“This critical support from the U.S. Department of Justice will enhance the ability of state and local law enforcement agencies to keep Rhode Island safe, and help nonprofit organizations provide vital services in our communities,” said U.S. Representative David Cicilline.

The federal crime prevention grants include:

Drug Free Communities Support Program: $1,097,447

Nine communities across Rhode Island are getting a total of nearly $1.1 million in federal grants to help combat drug abuse. The Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program will provide individual $125,000 grants to support community drug prevention coalitions in: Middletown; North Kinston; Providence; Smithfield; Tiverton; and Woonsocket.

Additionally, the Barrington Substance Abuse Task Force will receive $124,131; Cranston’s Narragansett Prevention Partnership will receive $123,336; and the Chariho Tri-Town Task Force will receive $99,980.

The Drug Free Communities Support Program combines substance abuse education with increased enforcement efforts. DFC is a matching federal grant, with each community receiving a grant providing a minimum one-to-one match in local funding for each federal dollar awarded, thus doubling the government’s investment while leveraging local support.

The Drug Free Communities program is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Senator Reed helped create the DFC program through the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, and it was reauthorized by Congress in 2001 and 2006.

The following grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice:

STOP Violence Against Women Grant Program: $947,514

The Rhode Island Department of Public Safety is receiving $947,514 in federal funding for its STOP (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Program. Federal STOP grants will help police officers, prosecutors, and local shelters work together and coordinate their efforts to protect victims of domestic violence and bring their abusers to justice.

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Grant: $600,000

The Rhode Island Department of Public Safety Office of Juvenile Justice is receiving $600,000 to help public and private non-profit agencies throughout Rhode Island prevent juvenile delinquency, rehabilitate juvenile offenders, and improve the Ocean State’s juvenile justice system.

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) Grants: $508,756

Central Falls will receive $29,775 to purchase law enforcement equipment and technology including digital recording computer system software and firearms.

Cranston will receive $34,476 to upgrade and purchase law enforcement equipment, technology, and professional development training.

East Providence will receive $18,068 to support law enforcement training on mental health illnesses, domestic violence, search and seizure procedures and CPR certifications and improve police officers’ crime management capabilities.

Newport will receive $33,094 to help pay for supplemental overtime details for police officers participating in the City-Wide Directed Enforcement Program.

North Providence will receive $11,984 to upgrade their police computer software and equipment.

Providence will receive $306,507 to upgrade law enforcement equipment, technology and training activities and support overtime to assist with community policing and innovative crime fighting strategies that target violent crime, guns, and gangs.

Warwick will receive $29,222 to purchase new semi-rugged laptops for police patrol vehicles.

Woonsocket will receive $45,630 to purchase mobile data terminals, laptops, Live Scan Finger Print Machines and additional computer system software. In addition, the Woonsocket Police Department will use funding for training, crime prevention and community policing in high crime areas.

National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP): $137,683

The Rhode Island Department of Public Safety is receiving $137,683 through the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) to improve access to the background history of criminals. The Rhode Island Public Safety Grant Administration Office will use the funds to purchase cameras and supplies to photograph individuals on probation to provide more complete criminal history record information in the Department of Correction's Inmate Facility Tracking System, which shares data with state and federal systems and purchase computers and supplies to support the installation of a new sex offender registry server and establish dedicated sex offender registry workstations; and purchase and install a Livescan unit in the Office of the Attorney General to assist in the processing of an increasing volume of biometric data for both criminal and civil purposes.

Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program: $104,000

Warwick will receive $104,000 for the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program, which strives to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services. The funding will also help eliminate backlogs in the analysis of forensic evidence, including controlled substances, firearms examination, forensic pathology, latent prints and trace evidence.

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program: $49,614

The Rhode Island Department Of Corrections will receive $49,614 to help increase public safety by facilitating collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, mental health treatment, and substance abuse systems to increase access to treatment for individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.

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