Congressman Brian Higgins announced $284,913 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Justice to support several public safety initiatives in Western New York.
“Safe neighborhoods make strong communities,” Higgins said. “With these federal resources, we are upgrading equipment, supporting law enforcement, and expanding opportunities for collaboration between the police and the community.”
The grant is provided through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, which supports community-focused crime prevention efforts. Buffalo, Erie County, Amherst and Cheektowaga will share this multi-jurisdictional award.
The City of Buffalo will utilize $214,299 to support additional police patrols at select large-scale events and support equipment for event patrols.
“We’re living during a time in where mass-shootings have become common place. We experienced this horror firsthand in Buffalo, as our community continues to heal from the pain produced by the racially motivated mass shooting on May 14th last year,” Mayor Byron Brown said. “This funding will go a long way in helping to keep our residents safe. I thank Congressman Brian Higgins for his significant support of public safety in our community.”
With $14,419 in grant funding, the Town of Amherst will make communication technology upgrades to police vehicles and expand community policing programs.
Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa said, “Many thanks to Congressman Higgins and our partners at the federal level for making JAG funds available. Over the years, these grants have gone a long way in supporting the Amherst Police Department and its mission to serve and protect our community.”
The $31,500 in funding dedicated to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office will help pay for an assistant district attorney dedicated to juvenile justice cases, as well as software security support for central police services. An additional $5,250 will support software security for its computer records management system.
The Town of Cheektowaga plans to use its $19,445 portion of the grant toward extra police patrols in hot-spot areas to reduce crime, improve public safety, and support community engagement.