U.S. Senator Pete Domenici recently confirmed that the New Mexico Department of Public Safety has been awarded $3.5 million by the U.S. Department of Justice to enhance the effectiveness of the state criminal justice system, particularly in addressing violent and drug-related crimes.
The funds, provided through DOJ’s Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforce-ment Assistance Formula Grant Program, will be used to boost state and local law enforcement agencies’ drug control and crime-fighting capabilities.
“This grant funding will facilitate law enforcement agencies’ efforts around New Mexico in implementing specific programs that contribute to combating violent crime and drug-related problems in our communities,” Domenici said. “This federal assistance will go to supporting a range of services such as giving officers the tools and training they need to step up apprehensions, adjudication and detention of criminal offenders and to provide services to victims of violent crime”
The Byrne Formula Grant Program is a partnership among federal, state and local governments to create safer communities and improved criminal justice systems. DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awards these grants to states for use by states and units of local government to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, with emphasis on violent crime and serious offenders, and to enforce state and local law laws the establish offenses similar to those in the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Grants may be used to provide personnel, equipment, training, technical assistance, and information systems for more widespread apprehension, prosecution, adjudication, detention, and rehabilitation of offenders who violate such state and local laws. Grants also may be used to provide assistance (other than compensation) to victims of these offenders.
Last month, the New Mexico lawmaker, who serves on the Commerce, Justice, State and Judiciary Appropriations Sub-committee (CJS), which sets priorities and funding levels for the Department of Justice, formally requested that $4 million in Byrne grant funds be included for New Mexico in the FY2003 CJS Appropriations Bill.