In the first 100 days since Congress passed the Recovery Act, the Justice Department has shoveled out about $1.1 billion in funds to law enforcement agencies around the country, including nearly $70 million in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli said today.
The Recovery Act includes about $4 billion for state, local and tribal law enforcement. They funds are flowing from the department’s Office of Justice Programs, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and the Office on Violence Against Women.
“The Office of Justice Programs team is doing great work, as we have put extraordinary demands on them to get the money out as quickly as possible without compromising one bit on making sure that taxpayer dollars are being well spent,” Perrelli said, speaking at a law enforcement symposium on violence against women.
The grants are propping up a range of criminal justice activities and support services, including drug and gang task forces, courts and corrections activities, prevention and victim services, training and technical services, and new crime-fighting technologies, Perrelli said.
The Office on Violence Against Woman has received $225 million to support five of its grant programs, and Perrelli estimated that $1 billion of funding earmarked for the department’s Community Oriented Policing Services Office would create or sustain about 5,500 law enforcement jobs. The COPS Office has received applications from more than 7,000 law enforcement agencies for $8.3 billion in Recovery Act funds. Most of those requests will not be funded, though President Barack Obama has pledged to put 50,000 police officers on the street in coming years.
Click here for Perrelli’s full remarks.