Pa. county DA Office gets $2.5 million in federal funding for first responder unit

The grant will "provide training and equipment to specially trained officers to respond to dangerous situations," the DA said

By Eric Mark
The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright announced Thursday that federal funding has been authorized for law enforcement initiatives throughout the region, including $2.5 million to the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office for the formation of a countywide first responder unit.

Also, Wilkes-Barre will receive $2.1 million for its Community Policing Technology and Equipment Initiative, Cartwright said in a news release.

The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs authorized the release of the funds, said Cartwright, D-8, Moosic.

District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce said his office is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the funding.

"The grant will fund a county-wide Emergency Services Unit which will provide training and equipment to specially trained officers to respond to dangerous situations including barricaded gunmen, hostage situations, and warrant service for violent criminals," Sanguedolce said in a text message. "In addition, it will provide training and equipment for surveillance teams, as well as accident and crime scene reconstruction and analysis."

Sanguedolce said his office and Luzerne County's law enforcement community as a whole are "extremely grateful" to Cartwright and his staff for alerting them to the existence of the funding and assisting with obtaining it.

The Wilkes-Barre community policing initiative has been planned for more than two years. The project was mentioned in published reports from July 2021.

At that time, Cartwright said the funding would enable the city to improve community policing efforts by purchasing new Tasers and dashboard cameras.

In the news release issued Thursday, Cartwright said "our law enforcement officers and emergency first responders take tremendous risks in the line of duty day in and day out, and it's vital we provide the resources they need to keep our communities safe."


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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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