(STL.News) – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser, Eastern District of Louisiana, announced today the award of Department of Justice grants to Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office ($161,045), Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office ($76,357), Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office ($37,639), the City of Kenner, Louisiana ($43,809) and the City of Hammond, Louisiana ($61,855) to respond to the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.
The grants are available under the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump. The State of Louisiana received $9,688,333 in Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding. In addition to the state award, $5,039,791 has been allocated to local agencies throughout Louisiana, with $2,282,168 being set aside for 22 jurisdictions in the Western District, $1,946,546 for 12 jurisdictions in the Eastern District of Louisiana, and $811,077 for five jurisdictions in the Middle District of Louisiana. These jurisdictions can immediately determine their eligibility for grant funding and apply for such by visiting this website. The Justice Department is moving quickly, awarding grants on a rolling basis and aiming to have funding available as soon as possible after receiving applications. Jurisdictions that have not yet applied for funds may do so until May 29, 2020
“The citizens of Southeast Louisiana have been severely affected by the onslaught of COVID-19 throughout their communities. Without the unwavering dedication and selflessness of first responders and public safety professionals, who are on the frontlines of this battle, our community would be adrift. These awards provide law enforcement in our district the opportunity to continue to safely perform their public safety duties while ensuring their wellbeing and the safety of the community,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Peter G. Strasser.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 and the public health emergency it created are sobering reminders that even the most routine duties performed by our nation’s public safety officials carry potentially grave risks,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “These funds will provide hard-hit communities with critical resources to help mitigate the impact of this crisis and give added protection to the brave professionals charged with keeping citizens safe.”
The law gives jurisdictions considerable latitude in the use of these funds for dealing with COVID-19. Potential uses include hiring personnel, paying overtime, purchasing protective equipment, and distributing resources to hard-hit areas. Funds may also be used to help correctional facilities cover costs related to COVID-19, including, but not limited to, sanitation, contagion prevention and measures designed to address the related medical needs of inmates, detainees, and correctional personnel.