Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the Department of Justice has awarded $35,197 to the City of Utica Police Department under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The City of Utica Police Department will use the funding to purchase portable ballistic protection equipment. This penetration-resistant, energy-dispersing ballistic shield is light weight and projectile absorbing, and will supply much needed protection in extremely volatile incidents. The Utica PD will also purchase breaching kits, which will provide new options to make entry through doors, walls and other surfaces when time is critical. High lumen tactical lights, which will add to the safety and overall efficiency of officers in every situation, will also be purchased using the grant funding.
“Our local heroes, who put themselves in harm’s way in order to keep our communities safe, deserve the best possible equipment we can give them,” said Senator Schumer. “I am pleased to announce the Utica Police Department will be receiving federal support to purchase items that will enhance police safety and efficiency. I look forward to continuing to work with Chief Williams on other efforts to help ensure officer safety.”
“This is an important investment for the Utica Police Department,” Senator Gillibrand said. “It’s our law enforcement’s job to keep our communities safe – and it’s our job to make sure they have the right tools and resources when they go into harm’s way. These funds for new portable ballistic protection equipment will help keep Utica Police officers safe so they can fight crime and protect our families.”
The Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program furthers the Department’s mission by providing States and units of local government with tools needed to meet the challenges associated with crime and bringing criminals to justice. Specifically, this program provides funds to state and local initiatives for technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and information systems for criminal justice. This program predominantly funds police overtime and the purchasing of new equipment, to provide for a safer community through increased office presence and capabilities.