In an effort to address public safety concerns, $4.6 million in public safety grants are coming from the U.S. Department of Justice to benefit Baltimore City and County, congressional delegates announced at a press conference held at the city police headquarters Monday, Dec. 16.
Maryland Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (D), Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young, Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr., City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger (D–District 2) and John Sarbanes (D–District 3) were in attendance.
The largest allocation, $859,773, is earmarked to go to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. This program provides funding for law enforcement, drug treatment, and more.
To ensure accountability, agencies which administer federal grant programs “must collect and report financial grant data to federal grant databases,” said Jaime Lennon, director of communications to Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, via email.
“These reporting requirements are set forth in the authorizing statutes and regulations for each individual grant program,” said Lennon. Furthermore, federal financial awards of more than $25,000 must be displayed on the publicly searchable website usaspending.gov, per the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.
This $4.6 million public safety grant is in addition to $3.2 million in funding announced by the Baltimore Congressional Delegation in November and December, which included $250,000 for two Drug Free Community Coalitions to prevent youth substance misuse in Baltimore City, and $477,000 to help the Baltimore City and Baltimore County crime labs process DNA evidence. Another $2.5 million was awarded to the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation’s Badges for Baseball youth mentorship.
— Carolyn Conte