The Department of Justice is making $850 million available to help public safety agencies respond to the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19, U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph announced Friday. The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President 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.
The State of Louisiana is eligible to apply for $9,688,333 to distribute throughout the state. In addition, law enforcement agencies in Louisiana that were eligible for the fiscal year 2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program are candidates for emergency funding, Joseph stated in a press release. A complete list of eligible jurisdictions and their allocations can be found at https://bja.ojp.gov/program/fy20-cesf-allocations. The amount allocated for these Louisiana agencies is $5,039,792.
"Law enforcement officers and first responders are working harder than ever during this crisis and need our support," said U.S. Attorney Joseph. "The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program will provide them additional financial support as we battle the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will fund overtime and new hiring, buy personal protective equipment, provide training, pay for travel expenses, and address the medical needs of inmates in Louisiana's jails and detention centers."
"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 January 20, 2020, subject to federal supplanting rules.
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/.