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Public Statements

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PALLONE. I want to thank my colleague from Virginia for yielding me the time.

I just want to reiterate what Mr. Scott just said. I have to say I have never had more requests and concern about programs from mayors and elected officials in my municipalities than I get for programs like this Byrne JAG program, like the COPS program, like the SAFER program that deals with fire prevention.

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that many of my towns--and I'm sure this is true across the country--because of the recession, because of budgetary constraints are laying off police, laying off firemen, don't have the resources, if you will, to deal with a lot of the crime prevention problems, so these programs are crucial to them.

I want to reiterate what Mr. Scott said about the fact that right now it's not only a question of reauthorizing, but also making sure that there's adequate funding for it. If I could just use an example in my own district, and that is that last week I was able to announce that several towns in my district, the Sixth District, have been awarded grants under the Byrne JAG program to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime. One grant is administered by Neptune and is benefiting both Asbury Park and Long Branch--Long Branch being my home town. Another grant is administered by New Brunswick, and it's helping Perth Amboy, Edison, and Woodbridge.

The funding is used to purchase law enforcement equipment and supplies. In New Brunswick, it's being used for a police vehicle, which will have mobile video and data equipment. This is really all about community safety, which is of utmost importance. At a time when our local law enforcement has to cope with difficult funding levels, these Federal grants make it possible for towns to support critical crime-prevention activities that protect New Jersey families and their residents. I can't stress enough how important this is.

So I'm just very pleased today that on a bipartisan basis we are reauthorizing this, I think, for 5 years. And as Mr. Scott said, the next step is to make sure that there's adequate funding because this is a crucial program. That's why I came down here tonight to speak about it.

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