By GoLocalWorcester News Team
U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, along with U.S. Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown announced today that the Department of Justice has awarded over $150,000 to the city of Worcester.
The $151,460 will go toward Worcester law enforcement, and comes via the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. JAG funds go to a variety of law enforcement needs, including hiring new officers, supporting drug and gang task forces; funding crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and supporting courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.
Worcester is expected to use the funds primarily to maintain a police presence in key neighborhoods.
"Cities and towns are facing extremely difficult economic times, and local budgets are being squeezed," Rep. McGovern said. "The federal assistance we are announcing today will help Worcester maintain critical public safety and law enforcement programs."
Senators Kerry and Brown also weighed in on the additional funding for Worcester police officers.
"Not a lot of people can say that they could get killed every day they go to work, but that's the risk that cops sign up for and no one should forget it. Their job is tough enough under the best circumstances so we can't keep asking our police departments to do more with less," Sen. Kerry said. "This is an investment in our officers and our communities."
"The job of law enforcement isn't easy even under the best of circumstances," Sen. Brown said. "It is my hope that this grant will provide meaningful support to the department's brave and committed officers as they work each and every day to keep the people of Worcester safe."
Worcester City Manager Michael O'Brien expressed gratitude for the additional funding, and insisted that the money will go toward increasing the police presence in areas that had recently seen budget cuts.
"These funds are critical for maintaining a police presence in our neighborhoods, especially in areas that have been impacted by funding cuts and to strategically target areas where crime trends and analysis dictate," said O'Brien. "We are extremely grateful to the continued support of our Congressional delegation and for their work in securing these much-needed public safety dollars."