Shelby announces Wiregrass funding

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 14, 2007

Special to The Journal

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), ranking member of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee (CJS), announced subcommittee approval of a number of important projects for the Wiregrass included in the fiscal year 2008 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill.  The bill will now go to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration.

&#8220This legislation includes a number of important projects in Alabama and across the nation,” said Shelby.  &#8220The subcommittee's action on this bill reiterates our commitment to funding these projects and advancing important nationwide initiatives.”

                                                                     Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) – $550 Million

The bill includes critical funding for the law enforcement community to upgrade technology, including in car computers, cameras and communications systems. The funding bolsters forensic capabilities and advance the practice of community policing nationwide.  The following grants will assist state and local law enforcement in their ability to protect and serve their communities.  The following projects were included in the Senate bill:

n City of Headland for mobile data terminals- $100,000

nCity of Troy for mobile data units- $225,000

nCity of Luverne for police technology upgrades- $150,000

nCity of Dothan for interoperable communications- $1,000,000 

                                &#8220Our bill strikes an important balance between the competing priorities of law enforcement, terrorism, research and strengthening US competitiveness through investment in science,” said Shelby.  &#8220Specifically, our bill includes $209 million for DNA and other forensic sciences, including $151 million for reducing the DNA backlog and an additional $40 million for Paul Coverdell Forensic Grants. It restores funding for important law enforcement programs. 

The bill includes $1.4 billion for State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance, of which $660 million is designated for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, $550 million for Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), $340 million for Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, $85 million for Methamphetamine Enforcement programs, $65 million for Missing Children programs and $390 million for Violence Against Women programs.  In addition, the bill includes $282.8 million for EDA, $4.2 billion for NOAA and $17.4 billion for NASA.”

&#8220Local law enforcement is vital to adequately responding to crime, gang activity and homeland security,” said Shelby.  &#8220The COPS grant program aims to implement and enhance community policing.  &#8220COPS funding assists law enforcement agencies across the country meet an ever-increasing range of challenges. The $550 million provided in the bill will allow police and sheriffs' departments throughout Alabama to take advantage of these grants and increase their enforcement efforts to become more efficient and effective.”