PORTLAND, Maine: United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has awarded $219,535 to the City of Portland, $96,714 to the City of Biddeford, and $38,979 to the City of Auburn to address the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.
OJP awarded the grants as part of $850 million available under the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the stimulus legislation President Trump signed in March. This program allows eligible state, local and tribal governments to apply immediately for these critical funds. Since the program was launched in early April, OJP has awarded almost $596 million to state, local and tribal agencies and organizations. A list of all awards can be found here.
“The Department of Justice has to date awarded almost $4 million to Maine jurisdictions to assist public safety professionals who are keeping us safe during this pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Frank. “Our state, local and tribal partners continue to step up in this unprecedented time, and I’m glad the Department can assist them.”
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act gives jurisdictions considerable latitude in the use of 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.
Jurisdictions that have not yet applied for funds may do so until May 29, 2020. OJP will fund successful applicants on a rolling basis as it receives applications. Grantees may apply the funds retroactively to January 20, 2020, subject to federal rules.
Agencies that were eligible for the fiscal year 2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program are candidates for the emergency funding. A complete list of eligible jurisdictions and their allocations is available at https://bja.ojp.gov/program/fy20-cesf-allocations. For more information, please visit https://bja.ojp.gov/funding/opportunities/bja-2020-18553.
OJP, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More information about OJP and its components is located at www.ojp.gov.