Congressman Brian Higgins announced the City of Buffalo, County of Erie and Town of Cheektowaga have been awarded a grant totaling $351,198 from the U.S. Department of Justice. The federal funds, provided through the Edward Byrne memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, will support public safety efforts in the region.
"These federal resources play an important role in supporting our public safety network and all of the dedicated people and programs that serve to protect our community," said Congressman Higgins, a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. "Buffalo and Erie County provide an exceptional quality of life for residents and a great destination for visitors. Safe neighborhoods and events are critical as we continually work to build excitement about Western New York."
"I want to thank our federal partners including Congressman Higgins in assisting and securing this very important grant," said City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown. "The city of Buffalo plays host to numerous special events every year and this funding will continue to ensure that these events receive the security measures needed. Our main goal is to provide a safe environment and again I want to thank everyone who played a role in making this funding a reality."
"Maintaining and enhancing safety and security for all County residents is a top priority of my administration," added County Executive Mark Poloncarz. "Thanks to Congressman Higgins, Erie County's Central Police Services will be able to strengthen their software security efforts and better administer their law enforcement duties, which benefits all residents."
Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary F. Holtz said, "Congressman Brian Higgins has consistently supported Cheektowaga's public safety efforts and this is another example of how we have partnered with Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo for the benefit of both communities and the protection of our residents."
The JAG Program provides communities with grants to support law enforcement and crime prevention efforts. Buffalo is one of 1,217 local jurisdictions eligible for more than $295 million in JAG funds approved for fiscal year 2012 nationwide.
Buffalo serves as the lead applicant on the grant and partners with Erie County and the Town of Cheektowaga to support community public safety needs. The federal funding will support:
Directed patrol efforts and enhanced protective security at large special events
Juvenile Code of Conduct and Anti-Crime programs provided through Buffalo's Department of Community Services
Case management enhancement for the Drug Court
Various efforts by the Buffalo Office of Citizen Services including: the Save our Streets Initiative addressing quality of life; the Citizens' Participation Academy; and also updates the services of the City's 311 "one-stop" shop for access to information
Partial funding for a juvenile prosecutor's position in the Erie County District Attorney's Office
Software security efforts by Erie County's Central Police Services
Traffic checkpoints, intelligence led targeted patrols, and other selective enforcement efforts by the Town of Cheektowaga Police Department