Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Quick Turn-Around Time Predicted for Law Enforcement Grants

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Quick Turn-Around Time Predicted for Law Enforcement Grants

Article excerpt

The Justice Department has begun the process of implementing the new $503 million Local Law Enforcement Formula Block Grant Program for use by cities and towns to establish or expand a broad range of city-specific, anti-crime and violence initiatives. One thing is clear, the turn-around time for grant awards will be fast once the guidelines are completed. It is possible that the Justice Department will be requesting applications be returned by July 1, 1996.

To make the best use of these limited funds, the appropriations bill language reduced the allowable uses to five. They are: crime prevention programs; hire, train, and employ new, additional law enforcement officers, necessary support personnel, overtime, equipment, training, technology and other materials including enhancing security measures in schools; establish or support Drug Courts; enhance the adjudication process of cases involving violent offenders, including violent juvenile offenders; and multijurisdictional task forces particularly in rural areas.

A number of modifications were made to the original bill language (HR 728). Of particular interest to cities and towns is the provision which expressly prohibits the use of block grant funds for the local match in any federal program, including the earmarks funds out of the $503 million total for three programs; $11 million will go to fund Boys and Girls Clubs in Public Housing; and $18 million for Drug Courts; and $15 million for the district of Columbia Police Department. Finally, there is no earmark for the Local Crime Prevention Block Grant contained in the 1994 Anti-Crime law.

With respect to the funding formula, each state would receive an as yet undisclosed amount, though under the bill's provisions, the state allotment would be based on the number of Part One violent crimes reported to the FBL. Each state would then divide its allotment in half. …

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