Local law enforcement agencies get over $800K from Dept. of Justice to boost departments

FILE(Phil Anderson/WIBW)
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 8:30 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Local law enforcement agencies will get an infusion of cash from the Department of Justice to boost their departments.

U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) announced on Wednesday, Oct. 13, that $839,491 in Department of Justice grants will support Kansas law enforcement agencies. They said the grants will be divided through 10 communities in Kansas.

“As crime rates are increasing, these grants will fund the purchase of new equipment, development of outreach programs and update outdated technology to help our local law enforcement carry out their responsibilities to protect our communities,” said Sen. Moran. “Through my role as the lead Republican on the subcommittee that funds these grants, I am working to make certain we provide every officer, captain, lieutenant, chief and sheriff with the resources they need to fulfill their duties.”

Sen. Moran said he is the lead Republican of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, which funds the Dept. of Justice.

“As the son of a police chief, I have the utmost respect for our nation’s law enforcement officers,” said Sen. Marshall. “I was proud to advocate for the full funding of the Byrne JAG program over the summer, and am pleased to see the criminal justice system in Kansas receive adequate funding so it can operate effectively. These meaningful investments ensure the men and women who risk their lives to protect us receive the assistance and training they need, resulting in more secure communities throughout our state.”

Congresswoman Sharice Davids (KS-03) said the funds in her district, which encompasses the Kansas City area, will be used to develop the ability to start to use community policing. She said crisis intervention teams will link law enforcement, mental health providers and emergency services in order to promote crisis management strategies that are sensitive to mental and behavioral health needs.

“With these grants, our local law enforcement will be able to reach more Kansans in need and provide them with the most accurate and effective services for their situation—the right response, by the right person, at the right time,” said Davids. “The continued partnership of mental health professionals and law enforcement through programs like these Crisis Intervention Teams leads to safer communities for everyone.

Grant recipients are as follows:

  • Sedgwick County – $443,481
  • Wyandotte County – $100,030
  • City of Olathe – $81,107
  • Shawnee County – $79,639
  • City of Lawrence – $30,505
  • City of Leavenworth – $30,016
  • Riley County – $24,567
  • City of Salina – $21,435
  • Junction City – $14,747
  • Garden City – $13,964

“Our police department is grateful to Congresswoman Davids and Senator Moran for all they have done to secure this much-needed support for law enforcement,” said Mike Butaud, Olathe Police Chief. “This COPs grant allows us to continue keeping our community safe and to continue building new, meaningful and trusting relationships with those we serve.  To help those in crisis, Olathe helped pioneer the use of mental health co-responders serving alongside our police officers.  This grant allows us to further enhance that important program.”

Davids said the funds are meant to build knowledge about effective practices and outcomes in community policing, support new and creative approaches to preventing crime, and to promote safe communities. Among other programs, she said tolerance, diversity and anti-bias training are all included in the funding.

“Mental health is one of the most pressing issues facing society and law enforcement,” said Frank Donchez, Overland Park Chief of Police. “This grant funding will enable the City of Overland Park to continue to implement new strategies in our efforts to address the mental health crisis.”

Davids said the funding was authorized by H.R. 133, the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021, which she voted to support in 2020.

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