Local law enforcement gets boost from Obama

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 11, 2009



LAPLACE – Four law enforcement agencies in the River Parishes are set to receive federal money from the Department of Justice as part President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package, which was recently approved by Congress.

According to a release from U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, who represents Louisiana’s third congressional district, sheriff’s offices from St. John, St. Charles and St. James parishes and the Police Department of the Town of Gramercy are included in a list of 20 agencies from Melancon’s district to qualify for over $2.5 million worth of grants under the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The grants are used to support law enforcement and improve the criminal justice system in various communities. Melancon said the money would help state and local governments prevent budget cuts to their law enforcement programs.

“Our local law enforcement officers in south Louisiana are the critical first responders during emergencies and disasters, and they deserve our strong support.” said Melancon. “These grants will provide law enforcement in our towns and parishes with additional resources to help them fight crime and make our communities safer places to live and raise a family.”

The JAG Program allows states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and improve the criminal justice system. Each jurisdiction on the list was allocated money based on a formula that determines each jurisdiction’s share of the total violent crime reported within the state.

According to the release, St. John Parish is set to receive $93,841, St. Charles Parish was allocated $67,005 and St. James Parish would get $72,026. Gramercy’s police force is getting $14,890.

JAG funds can be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support and information systems for criminal justice for any one or more of the following programs: law enforcement programs; prosecution and court programs; prevention and education programs; corrections and community corrections programs; drug treatment programs; and planning, evaluation and technology improvement programs.