Wednesday evening the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6062, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2012.
Introduced by Representative Tom Marino (R-PA) on June 29, 2012, the legislation reauthorizes the Byrne JAG program through Fiscal Year 2017 at $800 million per year. This program is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions, and offers resources to support a wide range of law enforcement activities including prosecution, prevention, education, planning, corrections, treatment, evaluation, and technology.
Williamsport Bureau of Police Chief Greg Foresman oversees a unit of 56 sworn police officers and civilian personnel -- the largest force in Congressman Marino's 10th District. Chief Foresman supports the Byrne JAG program and has experienced its benefits first-hand, "This grant program is a crucial partnership between federal and local law enforcement. It provides townships and municipalities across the country with the resources needed to keep our citizens safe."
"Here in Williamsport, we were able to expand and upgrade our internal camera system, purchase an all-terrain vehicle for special operations, and send our Special Response Team for specialized training, all with funding from the Byrne-JAG Program," said Chief Foresman. "I am glad our federal legislators have recognized the importance of this program and have supported its reauthorization."
Representative Marino joined with a bi-partisan majority of his colleagues in support of H.R. 6062, as it passed in the House of Representatives by voice vote.
"The Byrne JAG program is, without question, one of the most vital and useful tools available to local law enforcement, and its swift passage through the House signifies the necessity for its reauthorization," said Marino. "As a former district attorney and U.S. Attorney, I understand the challenges faced by local law enforcement to maintain the safety and security of our nation's communities. We have an obligation to do all that we can to support of these police department and their efforts to combat crime."