August 15, 2011

Manchin, Rockefeller Announce $141,670 in Funding to Combat Drug Activity, Support Law Enforcement in West VA.

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller (both D-W.Va.) today announced that West Virginia will receive a total of $141,670 to support a broad range of activities intended to combat illegal drug activity as well as prevent and control crime.

“In the last few weeks, I’ve heard from many local business owners that the drug problem is hurting their ability to hire and keep employees, and in this tough economy, we have to do everything in our power to help improve the jobs climate,” Senator Manchin said. “Providing law enforcement with the resources they need to crack down on drug dealers is a top priority.”

“The devastating effects of drug abuse are hurting too many individuals, families, and communities in West Virginia,” said Senator Rockefeller.  “It also leads to more crime, making our towns less safe.  This funding will help make sure that our police forces have the resources they need to reduce abuse and the crimes that result.  I’m also continuing to push for my bill that will combat prescription drug abuse, which has reached epidemic levels in our state.  I have heard from heartbroken families who lost loved ones to drug abuse, and we must not waver in the fight to stem this serious problem.”

The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services will receive $63,681 through the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods program, a nationwide commitment to reducing gun and gang crime. The funds will be used to acquire technology and equipment that will help officers to put potential drug markets under covert surveillance without raising the suspicion of criminals who operate in the area. Funds will also be used to continue improving law enforcement’s response to gun crime and gang related activity in Huntington and Cabell County.

The city of Martinsburg will receive $24,657 through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which supports a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime. The funds will be used to purchase crowd control barricades, total station equipment, and raptor radars. The equipment will be used to increase the safety of residents and assist the general public in investigating violent crime.

The city of Clarksburg will receive $40,821 in Byrne grant funding to purchase in-car cameras and directional radar units that will help improve officer performance and professionalism, as well as increase road safety.

The city of Bluefield will also receive $12,511 to purchase portable digital radios so that officers have the proper emergency communication equipment and to reduce the response time for emergency services.