Department Of Justice makes $850M available for public safety agencies to address pandemic

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FILE – In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, the Department of Justice seal is seen in Washington, D.C. An internet firm is ending the automated registration of website names that include words or phrases related to the COVID-19 pandemic, in an attempt to combat coronavirus-related fraud. Los Angeles-based Namecheap Inc. made the pledge after a federal judge in Texas on Sunday, March 22, 2020, ordered the takedown of a website the U.S. Department of Justice accused of stealing credit card information while offering fake coronavirus vaccine kits. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA – The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it is making $850 million available to help public safety agencies respond to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump, will allow eligible state, local and tribal governments to apply immediately for the critical funds.

Over $8.5 million of those funds will be made available to Iowa.

The department said it is moving quickly to make awards, with the goal of having funds available for drawdown within days of the award.

United States Attorney Peter E. Deegan, Jr. said Iowa’s public safety officials have always answered the call to protect our communities in times of crisis, and the COVID-19 outbreak is no different.

“These brave men and women deserve every ounce of support we can give them,” Deegan Jr. said. “We are hopeful these funds can quickly be put to use to help those who are putting their health and safety on the line to protect us all during this unique and hazardous time.”

Katharine T. Sullivan, Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, said they are grateful to the Congress for making these resources available and for the show of support this program represents.

“This is an unprecedented moment in our nation’s history and an especially dangerous one for our front-line law enforcement officers, corrections officials, and public safety professionals,” Sullivan said.

The solicitation, posted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), will remain open for at least 60 days and be extended as necessary. OJP will fund successful applicants as a top priority on a rolling basis as applications are received.

Funds may be used to hire personnel, pay overtime costs, cover protective equipment and supplies, address correctional inmates’ medical needs and defray expenses related to the distribution of resources to hard-hit areas, among other activities.

Grant funds may be applied retroactively to Jan. 20, 2020, subject to federal supplanting rules.

Agencies that were eligible for the fiscal year 2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program are candidates for this emergency funding.

A complete list of eligible jurisdictions and their allocations can be found here.

For more information about the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, click here.

For more information about the Office of Justice Programs, click here.


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