Four different government agencies in western Pennsylvania will receive grants for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), totaling than $1.5 million.
Armstrong, Washington, Mercer, and Allegheny Counties will be the destination of the funds administered through the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs.
Specifically, the funds will be used to fight substance use disorder (SUD) and to equip different law enforcement agencies with body cameras.
“Department of Justice grants provide critical funding to support local government initiatives that would be otherwise unaffordable,” said U.S. Attorney Cindy Chung. “The grants announced today will support programs aimed at addressing the substance use crisis devastating our communities and at providing police with an important tool that will enhance protection for both officers and citizens.”
Armstrong County leaders will receive $600,001 to implement a treatment program for individuals who are suffering from substance abuse, allowing rehabilitation options instead of criminal punishment.
$900,000 will assist Washington County officials in developing “a post-booking diversionary initiative that identifies offenders who have tested positive for opioids and opiates after a driving-under-the-influence stop and offers an alternative sentencing option by linking the offender to evidence-based treatment.”
Both the Town of McCandless in Allegheny County and City of Hermitage in Mercer County were awarded $36,069 and $31,000, respectively. Both totals will be directed to equip officers with body cameras, in addition to current dash cameras in vehicles.
The body-camera award was a portion of a large grant system handed out by the DOJ, appropriating $37 million to organizations across the country.
“Public safety requires public trust and the Justice Department is committed to supporting law enforcement programs that increase trust with communities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Today’s investment of $37 million builds on the department’s wide-ranging efforts to advance evidence-based innovations in policing throughout the country.”
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