RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) -- Governor Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran announced on Friday the availability of grant funding to fill three different police needs: Protective Order implementation, Naloxone to prevent opioid overdose deaths, and body-worn cameras for officers.
An explanation of each can be found below.
PROTECTIVE ORDER IMPLEMENTATION
Grants of up to $50,000 are available to local law enforcement agencies to help implement the newly-passed law prohibiting persons who are subject to permanent protective orders in domestic abuse cases from possessing firearms.
Law enforcement agencies will be able to apply to the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) for these grants to begin enforcing the new domestic violence law and educate their communities about it. The grants will allow them to develop procedures for receiving and storing firearms that are surrendered, and train their officers in the requirements and implementation of the new law designed to protect victims of domestic violence.
In announcing the availability of the grants, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran noted that the new requirement is part of a landmark bipartisan firearms legislative package approved by the General Assembly earlier this year, saying, “For the new law to be effective in protecting victims of family violence, it’s essential that our police and sheriffs’ departments be ready to implement it. These grants will help them develop the necessary policies and procedures and deal with the practicalities of carrying out this important law.”
“DCJS provides grant funding for a full range of services for crime victims, including victims of domestic violence,” said Fran Ecker, Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services. “The new protective order law provides a very important tool for protecting these vulnerable victims and we’re looking forward to helping law enforcement agencies implement it effectively.”
The availability of grant funds to help law enforcement agencies acquire Naloxone is a part of the McAuliffe’s administration’s greater effort to fight the opioid epidemic that has spread throughout Virginia and the nation. Given that law enforcement are often first responders to arrive at the scene of an overdose, equipping officers with Naloxone has proven to be an effective life-saving measure.
Police and Sheriffs’ departments can apply through DCJS for grants of up to $5,000 to equip personnel with Naloxone, implement procedures and protocols, and further train officers in responding to overdose situations. This need was identified by the law enforcement workgroup of the Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse.
The announcement also included the availability of grant funding for law enforcement agencies to purchase body-worn cameras. Body-worn cameras have been reported to be an incredibly effective tool for law enforcement officials, supporting improved training, tactical analysis, and situational response. DCJS will provide up to $15,000 per grant for agencies to acquire the cameras, with priority given to agencies that have yet to implement body-worn camera programs.
SOURCE OF THE GRANTS
The grants were secured from federal justice funds allocated to Virginia as part of the Violence Against Women Act and the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program. DCJS uses these and other state and federal funds to make grants that support programs and initiatives throughout the Commonwealth and across the entire criminal justice system.