U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-13th-IL) today attended a press conference to present Will County Sheriff Paul J. Kaupas with Federal funds for three local crime-fighting initiatives. At Biggert's request, funding for the projects was included in H.R.2764, which won final passage in House last month and was signed into law on December 26th.
The first grant of $101,050 will be used to hire a full-time detective responsible for investigating elder abuse and other crimes against seniors. The detective also would coordinate with the Will County Sheriff's Department in-house social worker to help senior citizens who are victims of crime access the services they might need.
"In 2005, 548 crimes against senior citizens were reported in Will County," said Biggert. "These funds will not only improve the Sheriff's ability to combat these offenses, they will ensure that victims receive the follow-up they need to feel secure."
The second grant, also $101,050, will allow the Sheriff's office to hire a full-time School Resource Officer (SRO) in Fairmont School District 89. The SRO will work with elementary and junior high school staff to develop community programs and mentoring projects that address crime, gang, and drug activities in and around local schools. The SRO also would instruct the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Program and the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program.
"Unfortunately, the influence of gangs and drugs is still very prevalent in many suburban schools," said Biggert. "A School Resource Officer will be able to work hand-in-hand with local educators to help keep at-risk kids safe."
The third grant of $962,900 will be used to install wireless laptops in approximately 100 squad cars, allowing mobile officers to access the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System, the National Crime Information Center, Secretary of State Data, the Will County 911 CAD system (voiceless dispatching), and new navigational software.
"Our first responders deserve the best equipment available, and thanks to this investment, the Sheriff's office will have the state-of-the-art tools it needs to better protect the people of Will County," said Biggert.