Tricounty News

Klobuchar announces funding for Minnesota Law Enforcement

Bill includes $550 million for COPS Program, $546 million for Byrne Grants to support local law enforcement initiatives like providing more jobs, cops on the beat.    Washington, D.C.-U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today announced that $3.65 million in funding for Minnesota programs for public safety and law enforcement will be in the Commerce, Justice and Science section of the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2009.  The funding will support numerous public safety and protection initiatives.    Klobuchar was also able to secure funding for child protection initiatives in Minnesota. $700,000 was allocated for Winona State University's National Child Protection Training Center, which opened in 2004. In 2007, Senator Klobuchar participated in the opening of the center and has secured $600,000 for the center. Among other things, the University's facility teaches investigators and prosecutors the science of interviewing young children victimized by abuse.    "As a former prosecutor, I've seen firsthand law enforcement's commitment to protecting children from abusive situations. That's why I commend the impressive work being done at Winona State University's premier National Training Center and why today's funding is so critical," said Klobuchar.    Klobuchar helped secure funding for Goodhue and Itasca counties transition to Minnesota's ARMER radio system that will provide law enforcement with better information sharing to keep Minnesotan's safe.  Goodhue will receive $750,000 for this program and Itasca will receive $300,000 to complete the final phase of implementing its 9-11 radio system as part of the ARMER radio system.    "When I was County Attorney I would often meet with law enforcement officials across our state to discuss best practices and areas for improvement. It became very clear very quickly that they needed tools to help them better communicate between jurisdictions, especially in our rural areas," said Klobuchar. "I'm pleased to see that my efforts to help these counties made significant headway today."    The bill also includes $550 million for the successful Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, including $50 million for a COPS hiring program. COPS has funded 118,000 officers in more than 12,000 communities nationwide since it was created in 1994.  Researchers have credited it as a significant factor in the national decline in violent crime that began in the 1990s.  Since coming to the Senate, Klobuchar has been working in the Senate to restore funding cuts to the program.    "One of the first effects of a bad economy is a spike in crime," said Klobuchar.  "This funding will help law enforcement with the increase in crime while providing jobs and much needed resources to local municipalities facing budget shortfalls."    Klobuchar has also been active in fighting to keep Byrne grant funding that the Administration has sought to cut by 67 percent.  The Byrne grant program provides support to local law enforcement authorities for multi-jurisdictional drug task forces, anti-gang efforts, specialized prosecutors and other crime-fighting initiatives. Last year Minnesota received almost $6.5 million in Byrne grants.  Klobuchar has also cosponsored a bill to return the total funding to the 2006 level of $1.1 billion.     "I've always believed that the first responsibility of government is to protect the safety of its citizens,' said Klobuchar, who was Hennepin County's chief prosecutor for eight years before her election to the U.S. Senate."And I believe that responsibility begins right here-at the local level in our neighborhoods and our communities, where people live and work. To fulfill that essential responsibility, our local police need the support of our government in Washington."    Also included in the bill are the following state projects:    $300,000-City of Minneapolis: To provide squad car cameras and mobile data computers (MCD).    $250,000-City of St. Paul: To replace the warning siren system that is used to warn the public about tornadoes, terrorism, and other emergencies.    $250,000-Hennepin County: To help share juvenile data between criminal justice agencies in a timely and accurate manner.    $200,000-MN Department of Public Safety: For their CriMNet Program, to fund their Name Event Index and Electronic Charging Services. CriMNet works to integrate the many local and state criminal justice and law enforcement databases across the state and provide seamless online access at a keystroke.    $100,000-Sheriffs Youth Programs of Minnesota: Helps provide programming and equipment.    $150,000-Bolder Options, Minneapolis, MN:  Provides Minneapolis students with one-on-one mentoring to reduce truancy & raise academic standards.    $500,000-Twin Cities Rise:  Provides employers with skilled workers--primarily men from in the Twin Cities area--by training under-and unemployed adults for skilled jobs that pay a living wage of at least $20,000 annually.     $400,000-National Police Athletic League:  Byrne grant provides support to local law enforcement authorities.    $300,000-St. Louis County Sheriff's Department:  To develop a regional interoperability mobile date system that will link multiple responders in emergency situations.