U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee included $490 million in the Fiscal Year 2008 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. The grant program provides funding for law enforcement to implement programs that prevent and control crime based on their own community’s needs. After this action by the committee, the bill will go before the full Senate for consideration.
“In many of my 67 county visits this year, district attorneys and law enforcement officers spoke to me about the importance of the Byrne grants,” said Shelby. “This reiterates my strong belief that the individuals serving on the front lines of our communities each day know best what their departments need to successfully do their jobs. Providing funds directly to our law enforcement officers allow them to control crime based on their own needs and is one of the best ways we can support our crime fighters.”
Ronald E. Brooks, President of the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition (NNOAC), made the following statement about the funding:
“On behalf of the 44 state associations and the 70,000 narcotic officers they represent, the NNOAC deeply appreciates the support Senator Shelby has shown for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program in the Wartime Supplemental Appropriations bill,” said Ronald E. Brooks. “Senator Shelby recognizes the importance of providing vital resources for the brave men and women on America’s first line of defense against the scourge that drugs, gangs and violent crime bring to our communities each day. Byrne-JAG funds provide the only source of federal assistance for multi-jurisdictional drug task forces - if these funds are not included in the wartime supplemental bill, hundreds of our nation’s drug and gang task forces will be forced to close, essentially turning a blind eye to an ongoing war on drugs which takes the lives of 30,000 Americans each year.”