Morgantown receiving DOJ grants to respond to coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus

UPDATE (MAY 28, 2020 5:13 p.m.):

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Bill Powell of the Northern District of West Virginia has announced that the city of Morgantown received $44,250 in Department of Justice grants to respond to the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The grant, awarded to the city of Morgantown, is available under the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump, according to a press release. Those jurisdictions can find out if they are eligible and apply immediately by clicking here. The Justice Department is moving quickly, awarding grants on a rolling basis and aiming to have funds available for drawdown as soon as possible after receiving applications.

Bill Powell

The city of Morgantown will put this funding to good use, working to keep its residents and visitors safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud to announce this additional funding to assist with this good work.

Bill Powell – U.S. Attorney, Northern District of West Virginia 

“The outbreak of COVID-19 and the public health emergency it created are sobering reminders that even the most routine duties performed by our nation’s public safety officials carry potentially grave risks,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs. “These funds will provide hard-hit communities with critical resources to help mitigate the impact of this crisis and give added protection to the brave professionals charged with keeping citizens safe.”

Powell said he encourages other municipalities to apply for DOJ grants because they may meet requirements for receiving one.

“Sometimes they fear they won’t get them, but they do take these requests seriously, so if our municipalities are in need of funds to help protect themselves or the law enforcement community, then they should make applications as appropriate,” Powell said.

The law gives jurisdictions considerable latitude in the use of these funds for dealing with COVID-19, the release explains. Potential uses include hiring personnel, paying overtime, purchasing protective equipment, distributing resources to hard-hit areas and addressing inmates’ medical needs.

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. Local units of government and tribes will receive direct awards separately according to their jurisdictions’ allocations, the release states.

The Office of Justice Programs, 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 can be found here.

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