WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski together with Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (all D-Md.) today announced that $1,011,443 in federal grant funding has been awarded to the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) to help defray increased police overtime costs surrounding the civil unrest following the death of Freddie Gray. Federal funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (BJAG) program.
Senator Mikulski is Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Subcommittee, which fund DOJ. Senator Cardin is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and author of the BALTIMORE Act, legislation designed to address many of the core issues that have led to April’s unrest in Baltimore.
“Baltimore was shaken by the civil unrest that took place after Freddie Gray’s death to levels beyond the means of local officials and, for the most part, federal agencies have stepped up to their responsibilities as partners in the City’s recovering and renewal,” said Senator Cardin. “These federal funds will help allow Baltimore area police departments, whose officers helped restore the peace, to continue to do their jobs helping our communities stay safe.”
“These federal funds help the City of Baltimore meet the costs of protecting people and property during the riots following the death of Freddie Gray,” said Senator Mikulski, Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which funds DOJ. “While this funding is a fraction of the total cost incurred by the State of Maryland, I am pleased that the DOJ heeded our calls for assistance. I thank the men and women of Maryland’s law enforcement community who worked tirelessly to protect our city.”
“I applaud the Obama Administration for its continued support as we strive to rebuild Baltimore and create a brighter future for our city,” Congressman Cummings said. “This grant will help ensure that our law enforcement officers are appropriately compensated for their work–an important step toward helping the Baltimore Police Department become the elite of the elite in law enforcement.”
The Maryland GOCCP will use the BJAG grant to help defray police overtime and salary costs associated with the civil unrest that unfolded in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.
BJAG is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. Grants are administered through DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, and awarded based on a formula of population and violent crime statistics. The program provides critical funding needed to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution and court programs, prevention and education programs, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, crime victim and witness initiatives, and planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs.