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DOJ makes $850 million available to help public safety agencies address COVID-19 pandemic

BALTIMORE, MD—The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday announced that it is making $850 million available to help public safety agencies respond to the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Donald Trump, will allow eligible state, local, and tribal governments to apply immediately for these critical funds. The department is moving quickly to make awards, with the goal of having funds available for drawdown within days of the award.

“Law enforcement and public safety officials are facing extraordinary challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “These resources will help support their efforts to promote public safety during this difficult time.”

“This is an unprecedented moment in our nation’s history and an especially dangerous one for our front-line law enforcement officers, corrections officials, and public safety professionals,” said Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “We are grateful to the Congress for making these resources available and for the show of support this program represents.”

The solicitation, posted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), will remain open for at least 60 days and be extended as necessary. OJP will fund successful applicants as a top priority on a rolling basis as applications are received. Funds may be used to hire personnel, pay overtime costs, cover protective equipment and supplies, address correctional inmates’ medical needs and defray expenses related to the distribution of resources to hard-hit areas, among other activities. Grant funds may be applied retroactively to Jan. 20, 2020, subject to federal supplanting rules.

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Agencies that were eligible for the fiscal year 2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program are candidates for this emergency funding. A complete list of eligible jurisdictions and their allocations can be found at https://bja.ojp.gov/program/fy20-cesf-allocations.

For more information about the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program, visit https://bja.ojp.gov/funding/opportunities/bja-2020-18553. For more information about the Office of Justice Programs, visit https://www.ojp.gov/.

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