Federal funding for security improvements to the Civic Center Complex cleared its first hurdle today. The House approved the funding as part of the FY 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2847) this afternoon. Rep. Brad Ellsworth submitted the budget request on behalf of the Vanderburgh County Commission.
Vanderburgh County would receive $200,000 for security improvements at the Civic Center Complex, which houses the County's judicial and administrative facilities. The funds would be used to purchase and install security equipment in the administrative portion of the facility.
"While portions of the Civic Center have important security protections in place, including guards and metal detectors for court proceedings, there are areas where improvements could be made," said Ellsworth. "These funds will do just that; helping to protect employees and visitors to the Civic Center."
In addition, the House approved $200,000 for KidsPeace, a children's charity, to establish a therapeutic foster care program in Evansville. The program will provide local foster children who have mental and behavioral health needs with foster parents and caseworkers trained to meet their specific needs. Federal studies have shown that access to therapeutic foster care reduces violent crimes among at-risk adolescents by an average of 70%.
"When it comes to protecting our communities, it's really true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I've seen too many kids end up in our criminal justice system because they didn't get the help they needed early on," said Ellsworth, the former Vanderburgh County Sheriff. "These funds will help address that problem by providing at-risk, foster children in Evansville with the support they need to become productive citizens."
Passage by the House is only the first step in the funding process; the bill will now head to the Senate for its consideration. For more information on the federal funding process, please visit the 8th District Online Office at: http://www.ellsworth.house.gov/ and click on "Investing in Indiana."