Keeping our communities safe is and will always be my top priority. Which is why I have worked year after year to ensure funding for federal programs that support our local law enforcement agencies and first responders.
This week, I’m proud to announce $2.4 million in federal funds to help Rhode Island law enforcement agencies crack down on hate crimes, decrease the DNA test kit backlog, and bolster crime prevention efforts.
The Byrne JAG program distributes grants that can be used for a variety of state and local initiatives, including technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support and information systems for criminal justice or civil proceedings. The following Rhode Island communities will receive Byrne JAG awards:
Additionally, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office is receiving a $400,000 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Program grant to investigate and prosecute hate crimes committed on the basis of a victims perceived or actual race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.
The Rhode Island Department of Public Safety will also receive $293,954 through a Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant. This federal funding may be used to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services and to eliminate backlogs in the analysis of forensic evidence. And the Rhode Island Department of Health will get $423,478 through the Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program, which helps state labs across the country increase their capacity to process DNA samples and enter them into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) CODIS DNA system.