August 29, 2011

Manchin, Rockefeller, Rahall Announce $1.2 Million for Crime Prevention Projects Across West Virginia

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, along with Congressman Nick Rahall (all D-W.Va.), today announced that the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services will receive $1,219,939 for four crime prevention projects from the U.S. Department of Justice. The grants will be used to improve the quality of forensic science and criminal evidence, support juvenile delinquency prevention, enhance criminal databases, and improve DNA database laboratories.

“Crime has a devastating impact on our families, our communities and our state, and these grants give West Virginia law enforcement officers more tools to help reduce crime,” Senator Manchin said. “The funding pays for the latest technology, which can help prevent crimes and solve old cases. These grants also fund prevention programs, which can help our next generation contribute fully to our society.” 

“Making sure our law enforcement officials have the resources they need to get the job done is absolutely essential,” said Senator Rockefeller.  “This funding will help enable police officers and other law enforcement officials protect the residents and communities throughout West Virginia.  These officials are working to keep our streets are safe, and we owe it to them to make sure they get the necessary resources to make that possible.”

"These investments in cutting-edge law enforcement technologies and juvenile delinquency prevention will help to lower crime and raise the quality of life in West Virginia," said Rahall.  "While tightening our budgetary belt, we must continue the critical investments in public safety that bring long-term benefits to our residents, businesses, and communities.”   

The individual grants include: 

  • The West Virginia State Police will receive $373,262 for the DNA Backlog Reduction Program. The funds will be used to reduce the number of forensic casework backlogs across the state. The award will also go toward building the capacity of DNA database laboratories to process more database samples.

  • The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services will receive $360,000 for the Formula Grants Program, which is authorized under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. The funding will be used to encourage delinquency prevention and intervention efforts, in addition to improving the state’s juvenile justice system. West Virginia will use at least 50 percent of the funding to separate youths in adult facilities.

  • The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services will receive $282,214 for the National Criminal History Improvement Program. The funds will be used to improve access to criminals’ background history. The money will go toward implementing the Unified Judicial Application in all magistrate courts to increase the number of counties reporting data. The funds will also help set up guidelines and regulations to enhance the quality, completeness and accessibility of criminal history records.

  • The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services will receive $166,108 for the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program. This program strives to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services. The funding will also help eliminate backlogs in the analysis of forensic evidence, including controlled substances, firearms examination, forensic pathology, latent prints and trace evidence.