West Virginia receives $2.9 million in federal money for public safety

(The Center Square) – More than $2.9 million in federal money is headed to West Virginia to support public safety programs, per a decision from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs.

Most of the money will go toward statewide efforts to reduce crime, expand access to substance use disorder prevention and treatment services and to strengthen forensic capabilities for DNA scientists, according to a news release from Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito. Some of the money will support similar efforts at the local level.

“Our communities in West Virginia rely on our law enforcement offices to help keep their families safe,” Capito said in a statement. “I’m proud to help secure critical grants like these that will go a long way in providing our state and local agencies and communities with the tools and resources they need to prevent crime, strengthen forensic services, and increase access to substance use disorder prevention and treatment. I will always fight for the funding needed to ensure peace of mind in localities across West Virginia.”

More than $1.9 million will go to the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. Nearly $1.25 million of the department’s allocation will support crime control and prevention through law enforcement programs, prosecution and court programs and substance use disorder programs, among other things. The rest of the department money will help maintain education requirements for DNA scientists and support the maintenance and upgrades for laboratories.

Another $526,000 will support Marshall University’s Prevention Empowerment Partnership. This partnership seeks to expand access to substance use disorder prevention and treatment options, particularly for young people and families.

“I am pleased to announce these critical investments from the Department of Justice to expand access for substance use disorder prevention and treatment services, boost crime prevention efforts and support the West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory,” Manchin said in a statement. “We must work together to protect our friends, neighbors and fellow West Virginians, and the funding announced today will help promote public safety across the entire state. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue advocating for resources to support public safety initiatives across the Mountain State.”

The remaining funds will be disbursed among city and county governments to support local crime prevention initiatives.

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