Washington D.C. – With local government budgets across New York hit hard during the economic downturn, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urged Senate Leaders to fully fund the Byrne Competitive Grants Program administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2009, organizations in New York received $19.4 million in grants for the continuation or establishment of crime prevention programs.
In her letter to the Appropriations Committee, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “Many local agencies have to make devastating budget cuts, eliminating positions that they cannot afford to go without. Local police departments have not been immune to this reality, with many facing a lack of critical resources and support. These fiscal constraints are also being felt by the non-profit organizations and service providers that complement the protection and services that police provide to our communities.”
The Byrne Competitive Grants Program provides important resources that allow for the continuation or establishment of crime prevention programs and assists local law enforcement agencies to improve the criminal justice system. By supporting national, state and local crime prevention initiatives, this program allows for safer communities in this time of fiscal uncertainty. The Byrne Competitive Grants Program also assists local law enforcement agencies to develop innovative approaches to reducing crime in the communities that they serve and reduce the strain on local budgets. By preventing crime from happening in the first place, these grants can help pave the way toward a safer future for communities across the country.
Byrne Competitive Program grants focus on a range of initiatives, such as improving services available to victims of crime, reducing violent crime through community-based data-driven programs, boosting civilian support personnel such as training staff and analysts, funding neighborhood-based probation and parole officers, and cracking down on mortgage fraud.