U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that $3,966,756 in federal grant funding has been awarded from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) through the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (BJAG) program. GOCCP will use this funding to support public safety activities and reduce violent crime as well as crimes against victims and children throughout Maryland. Senator Cardin is a member of the Senate Budget Committee. Senator Mikulski is the Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee which funds the Department of Justice.
"This Byrne grant will be a significant help to our local law enforcement community, particularly during this economic downturn," said Senator Cardin. "It means that our state and local jurisdictions will have the added resources they need to fight crime and keep our families and neighborhoods safe. We owe our law enforcement community the tools they need to do their job so they can keep the criminals off the streets and our communities safe."
"I've heard from state and local police from all over Maryland and around the country that the lack of funding means fewer cops on our streets fighting gangs, drugs, and child predators and fewer prosecutions of criminals," Chairwoman Mikulski said. "State and local law enforcement have been stretched and stressed, forced to do more with less. That's why I continue fighting so hard to put this funding in the federal checkbook. I am committed to giving law enforcement the tools they need to protect community safety, protect our families, and fight crime."
BJAG is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. Grants are administered through DOJ's Office of Justice Programs, and awarded based on a formula of population and violent crime statistics. The program provides critical funding needed to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution and court programs, prevention and education programs, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, crime victim and witness initiatives, and planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs. BJAG funding is fast, flexible and effective in helping states and communities address emerging crime and criminal justice problems.
Maryland agencies and municipalities will be able to apply for funding through the Maryland GOCCP to use for a broad variety of ways to increase public safety. These include programs for enhanced technology for law enforcement, services for victims of domestic violence, and initiatives to remove violent offenders from the streets.
BJAG funds advance the concept of security integration across Maryland by increasing collaboration and information-sharing among public safety agencies and service providers, leading to more efficient and more effective delivery of services.