(The Center Square) – Texas public safety initiatives are receiving $308 million in federal and state grant money ranging from law enforcement support to victim’s assistance to forensic testing.
Law enforcement agencies are receiving 47 grants totaling $2.1 million to provide peace officers with rifle-resistant body armor and bullet proof vests; 19 grants totaling $893,500 will help upgrade technology infrastructure to support the submission of data to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS); and 20 grants totaling $1.2 million will go toward creating safer neighborhoods by focusing on criminal gangs and felonious possession and use of firearms.
Funds to combat human trafficking include six grants totaling $1.2 million for projects that prevent, investigate, and/or prosecute the commercial sexual exploitation of people in Texas; 21 grants totaling $4.5 million will go toward short and long-term residential services, advocacy, and case management for survivors of human trafficking in Texas.
Another three grants totaling $1.3 million will go toward combating technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and Internet crimes against children, including funding forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, and community education.
Prosecutorial funds range from 35 grants totaling $381,5000 to Crime Stoppers to 11 grants totaling $1 million to reimburse district attorney offices for costs associated with the forensic analysis of physical evidence.
State terrorism prevention efforts include 382 grants totaling $61.7 million, and border security efforts include 94 grants totaling $5.1 million to provide for overtime and operating costs to support increased law enforcement personnel at the border. These efforts include detecting, deterring, and disrupting drug, human and other trafficking along the Texas/Mexico border.
Another 46 grants totaling $6.4 million will go toward funding security enhancements for nonprofit organizations at high risk of a terrorist attack based on their ideology, beliefs or mission.
Funds for the Juvenile Justice System include 235 grants totaling $14.6 million to support personnel, equipment, supplies, training, technical assistance, and information systems for criminal justice purposes. Another 110 grants totaling $9.4 million will help prevent violence in and around schools and improve the juvenile justice system by providing mental health services, truancy prevention and intervention through community-based and school programs.
Five medical-related grants totaling $1.7 million will help fund projects related to enhancing forensic science or medical examiners services; 26 grants totaling $1.2 million will help fund medical care facility compliance with Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE)-Ready designation as defined in Chapter 323 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
Funds dedicated to help victims of violent crime and violence against women include 530 grants totaling $186.7 million; three grants totaling $555,100 will reimburse local law enforcement agencies for costs associated with the forensic analysis of physical evidence in relation to sexual assault or other sex offenses.
Another 56 grants totaling $6.5 million will support judicially supervised treatment, intensive case management, and other services to assist participants with substance abuse or mental health challenges to cut the backlog in the court system; 7 grants totaling $2.7 million will go toward projects that provide residential substance abuse treatment within local correctional and detention facilities.