Justice Department announces grants for officer safety

Matthew Whitaker

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker declares the grant program to regulation enforcement officers on the Joint Terrorism Task Force on Wednesday in New York. | AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

The Department of Justice on Wednesday introduced a brand new grant program supposed to bolster security and help companies for regulation enforcement officers on the state, native and tribal ranges.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker introduced the $56 million in grant funding, which can be dealt with by DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, in a speech to the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York, declaring that President Donald Trump’s New York roots allowed him to direct coverage from a place of experience on the advantages of investing in regulation enforcement.

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The grant funding will embody $29 million to partially reimburse departments for the acquisition of bulletproof vests, $12 million for physique cameras, and $2 million for well being and security analysis, Whitaker mentioned.

The Justice Department framed this system as another aspect of the Trump administration’s goal of enhancing the protection of law enforcement officials, citing a 5 p.c enhance in line-of-duty assaults towards officers in 2017 whereas the violent crime fee within the nation as an entire decreased.

“This is only a small manner of claiming thanks to the officers who care for us every single day. We perceive the sacrifices that you simply make — and so we would like you to have the best gear and the best coaching,” Whitaker mentioned, based on his ready remarks.

In an announcement saying the brand new grant funding, OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt Dummermuth mentioned this system will enable for a lot wanted sources to deal with the emotional toll of the regulation enforcement occupation.

“Law enforcement officers have excessive charges of on-the-job damage, psychological sickness, and suicide,” he mentioned. “These awards will present essential sources and coaching to assist shield the bodily and psychological well being of those that are devoted to defending the protection of our communities.”

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