CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – U.S. Attorneys Mike Stuart and Bill Powell today announced more than $4.85 million in Department of Justice grants to fight and prevent violent crime in the Southern and Northern Districts of West Virginia. The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, are part of more than $458 million in funding to support state, local and tribal law enforcement efforts to combat violent crime in jurisdictions across the United States.
“One of the fundamental missions of government is to protect its citizens and safeguard the rule of law,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “The Department of Justice will continue to meet this critical responsibility by doing everything within its power to help our state, local and tribal law enforcement and criminal justice partners fight crime and deliver justice on behalf of all Americans.”
The funding announced today continues the Trump Administration’s commitment to reducing crime and improving public safety. In the two years before President Trump took office, America had experienced a precipitous rise in crime, particularly in serious violent crime. The President elevated community safety to the top of his domestic agenda and crime rates have fallen steadily since. Recent data from the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics for 2019 show a drop in crime and serious victimization for the third year in a row. However, a number of cities are experiencing conspicuous countertrends. Today’s grants will bolster crime-fighting efforts in those communities and in jurisdictions throughout the United States.
“Violence has become a tragic reality in too many of America’s communities,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “Working with officials across the Trump Administration and with thousands of state, local and tribal crime-fighters across the country, the Department of Justice is leading the response to this urgent challenge. OJP is pleased to make these resources available to support innovative, tested and diverse solutions to violent crime.”
“I am thankful for this Justice Department funding that will further support law enforcement efforts to reduce violent crime,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “We will continue to work closely with our federal, state and local partners to keep West Virginia communities safe.”
“I am proud to announce funding that will assist law enforcement in keeping our great state safe for all of us. We must continue our good work to ensure that West Virginia continues to be “almost heaven,” said Powell.
Of the more than $458 million awarded nationwide, OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance made 1,094 grants totaling more than $369 million to support a broad range of initiatives, including efforts in enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, detention and rehabilitation.
OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded more than $10 million across 24 jurisdictions to intervene in and suppress youth gang activity as well as $1 million to the Institute for Intergovernmental Research to continue operating the National Gang Center. OJP’s National Institute of Justice awarded $7.8 million to fund research and evaluation on the prevention and reduction of violent crime. OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics provided more than $69 million to strengthen the quality and accessibility of records within the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The following organizations received funding:
BJA Project Safe Neighborhoods ($166,713) The efforts of Project Safe Neighborhoods include addressing criminal gangs and the felonious possession and use of firearms. PSN collaborates with local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as the communities they serve, in a unified approach led by the U.S. Attorney in all 94 districts. Information on the awards is available here.
· Northern District of West Virginia: $88,955
· Southern District of West Virginia: $77,758
BJA Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant ($1.575 million) Byrne JAG supports a broad range of initiatives that work to prevent and reduce violent crime. It also provides funds to help crime victims and assist efforts in enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, detention and rehabilitation. Byrne JAG grants local and tribal, and state, District of Columbia and territory awards through separate solicitations.
· City of Wheeling: $40,284
· City of Martinsburg: $10,797
· City of Morgantown: $12,783
· Berkeley County: $10,846
· Marion County: $10,507
· Monongalia County: $15,833
· Randolph County: $10,120
· City of Huntington: $60,862
· City of Charleston: $81,005
· City of Parkersburg: $30,165
· City of Beckley: $23,241
· City of Bluefield: $15,833
· City of South Charleston: $10,216
· Kanawha County: $42,802
· Wood County: $15,300
· Fayette County: $10,652
· Jackson County: $12,056
· Logan County: $15,639
· Mercer County: $11,233
· Nicholas County: $22,031
· Putnam County: $24,500
· Raleigh County: $15,785
· State of West Virginia: $1,072,540
National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP) ($1.73 million) NARIP provides financial and technical assistance to states and tribes to improve the completeness, automation and transmittal of records to state and federal systems used by the NCIS.
· West Virginia Court of Appeals: $1,739,332
National Criminal History Improvement Program ($1.37 million) NCHIP enhances the quality, completeness, and accessibility of criminal history record information to state, territory and federal systems used by the NICS and ensures the nationwide implementation of criminal justice and noncriminal justice background check systems.
· West Virginia Justice and Community Services: $1,374,733
For a complete list of individual grant programs, award amounts, and jurisdictions that will receive funding, click here. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia.