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$395k awarded to 6th district safety forces

More than $395,000 in grants, allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has been awarded to law enforcement in U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson’s 6th District.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said the $12,419 in Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funds his department is receiving could not have come at a more needed time.

“The department has applied for this grant before, but this is an increase from past years,” Lawless said. “These funds will be used to help continue crime fighting and job retention.”

Lawless said, that with cuts across the board, any type of grant monies that the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department can receive are very much needed.

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program allows states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the criminal justice system.

Funding for the grants were in jeopardy for 2009 until they were included as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress on Feb. 17.

Funds can be used for items such as law enforcement programs, prosecution and court programs, prevention and education programs, corrections and community corrections programs, drug treatment and enforcement programs, planning, evaluation and technology improvement programs and crime victim and witness programs. Funds cannot be used for witness compensation.

The procedure for allocating JAG funds is a formula based on population and crime statistics, in combination with a minimum allocation to ensure that each state and territory receives an appropriate share.

Rep. Wilson said the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant arrived in Ohio’s 6th District at a crucial time.

“These grants will allow local governments to support or improve law enforcement programs like prevention and education programs or corrections and drug treatment programs, just to name a few examples,” according to Wilson’s office.

A breakdown of other 6th District recipients receiving funds are the law enforcement programs of Athens, with $22,006; East Liverpool, with $11,330; Wellsville, with $10,894; Jefferson County, with $29,849; Steubenville, with $51,419; Mahoning County, with $13,508. Boardman Township, with $47,061; Scioto County, with $33,771; Portsmouth, with $83,447; Belmont County, with $11,795; Gallia County, with $13,944; Marietta, with $16,994; Mingo Junction, with $13,944 and Washington County, with $22,877.