DOJ exec urges creative funding for cops

Office of Justice Programs

Related Links

State and local law enforcement agencies that need money won't get much more through the usual federal grants, but thinking creatively can turn up other funding sources, a Justice Department official said.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) — a resource for funding, information and expertise for law enforcement agencies — has several programs to assist cities and states, but direct grants appear to be hit hard in the fiscal 2004 budget, said Deborah Daniels, assistant attorney general for OJP. She was speaking Jan. 21 at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Congress still has not passed the appropriations bill that includes the Justice budget, but the most recent version being discussed cuts local law enforcement block grants from $400 million to approximately $225 million. OJP officials are working to make sure that as much of the remaining money goes directly to local agencies, but grants go through the states first, so "that will be a problem this year" for cities, Daniels said.

However, the Homeland Security Department's Office of Domestic Programs also has money for grants to states and local agencies. The law states almost $500 million of that funding must go to counterterrorism efforts rather than general first responder initiatives, but "if you think creatively and strategically, there is an opportunity to make a significant difference in your community" with DHS grants, Daniels said.

One of the programs that OJP has planned for this year is an initiative to increase the resources and technology available for DNA processing. The agency likely will receive about $100 million for that program instead of the $233 million requested, but "this is a tremendous opportunity to lift all boats in the DNA area," Daniels said.

The program includes research into making testing easier, faster and cheaper to cut down on the "tremendous backlogs," and developing a better database at Justice to store and access test results "so we can respond to your queries in seconds or minutes instead of hours, days, weeks," she said.

The office will also continue work on the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative and the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, particularly to make sure that state and local agencies are able to upgrade or enhance existing technology in order to reach interoperability.

"This will essentially go a long way toward modernizing the ability of your departments to respond to traditional law enforcement as well as homeland security," Daniels said.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.