Justice Assistance Grant supports community police liaisons
Congressman Brian Higgins and City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino announced a federal grant totaling $40,648 for the Niagara Falls Police Department. Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and awarded through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, the grant supports public safety efforts in the Cataract City.
“Community-oriented policing is an effective way to build trust and improve relationships between law-enforcement and members of the community,” Higgins said. “This federal funding will help improve community engagement and quality of life in the City of Niagara Falls.”
Restaino said, “Our city appreciates the continued support of Congressman Higgins. This grant will continue the effort of our law enforcement professionals engaging with our community to build a better city.”
The grant supports two civilian community police liaison positions in the Niagara Falls Police Department, as well as the purchase of handheld radios for department personnel. Police liaisons help facilitate communication between the police department and community neighborhood associations, block clubs and individual citizens. They promote community policing concepts, deploy crime prevention programs, and work with the city to resolve issues such as noise complaints, graffiti and loitering. Additionally, they assist in identifying and responding to breakdowns in communication and community-police relations.
In 2020, the JAG program awarded over $72 million in grants to local jurisdictions across the U.S. It serves as the primary provider for federal criminal justice funding to states and units of local government. Higgins’ team said, “The grants provide critical support for law enforcement, prosecution, indigent defense, courts, crime prevention and education, corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, crime victim and witness initiatives, mental health programs, behavioral programs, and crisis intervention teams.
To learn more about JAG, visit https://bja.ojp.gov/program/jag/overview.