MONTGOMERY— Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded six grants totaling $140,283 to help law enforcement efforts to make several communities in three north and central Alabama counties become safer places to live, work and play.
Funds from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods will support projects by five entities to reduce crime in Calhoun, Jefferson and Madison counties.
“Our state is a great place to call home, and our law enforcement officers work tirelessly to provide safe communities for us to live and work,” Gov. Ivey said. “I commend the work of police officers, sheriffs’ deputies and social workers in these three counties who are committed to serving our communities. Through these grants, I am pleased to support their efforts to give us all a safer place to call home.”
The Calhoun County Commission is using grant funds of $30,000 to pay overtime for officers serving in the Family Violence Unit of the District Attorney’s Office of the 7th Judicial Circuit. The task force’s goal is to protect victims of domestic violence in Calhoun County.
The Madison County Commission is using funds of $16,279 to purchase new ballistic vests for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit and new crime scene processing equipment. The new laser-scanning technology will allow crime scene processing to be both faster and with greater accuracy.
The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles is using $16,279 in grant funds to work collaboratively with the Huntsville Police Department and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to identify the most pressing violent crime issues in the city of Huntsville and to develop a comprehensive prevention and offender re-entry strategy to address them.
Jefferson County is using two grants totaling $53,775 to purchase new license plate recognition cameras to be placed in high crime areas and to cover costs of Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputies participating in the Firearms Technical Assistance Program. The focus of the program is to improve the community’s response to domestic violence and address the use of firearms in those cases. A portion of the funds will cover overtime for personnel working on weekends to serve protection from abuse orders.
The Offender Alumni Association is using a $23,950 grant to assist in the creation of an ongoing project that offers at-risk youth ages 14-17 the opportunity to perform community service in the West End community of Birmingham. The program, Heroes in the Hood, works to mentor young people whose circumstances leave them feeling doomed to a lifetime involvement with criminal activity, association officials said. The goal is to help them build an improved self-image through community service.
Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide program that brings together community leaders, law enforcement and judicial officers, elected leaders and others to examine crime issues and work to develop solutions.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available to the state from the U.S. Department of Justice.
“ADECA joins Gov. Ivey in partnering with city and county law enforcement and social services to help make these Alabama neighborhoods safer places to call home,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.
ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.