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Some Pa. law enforcement agencies to receive $150K federal grant to boost resources

City police departments will use the money for mental health training, community engagement officers and officer overtime


Wilkes-Barre Township Police Department

By Bill O Boyle
The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

WILKES-BARRE, Penn. — U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright on Thursday said law enforcement officers and emergency first responders take tremendous risks in the line of duty day in and day out, and it’s vital to provide the resources they need to keep communities safe.

“As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to support our local police by providing them what they need when it comes to protecting our community,” said Cartwright, D-Moosic, who oversees more than $70 billion in annual federal spending, including the budget for the Department of Justice.

On Thursday, Cartwright announced that $155,600 will come back to Northeast Pennsylvania to support local law enforcement agencies in Monroe, Luzerne and Lackawanna counties.

Cartwright secured the award through the Department of Justice (DOJ) Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.

—The Wilkes-Barre Police Department was awarded $40,807 to cover the cost of overtime for assigning additional officers in high crime areas; training for dealing with violent crime; and firearms and taser instructor re-certifications. This grant will also give the department the flexibility to use funds where most needed.

—The City of Hazleton will use its share of funds to support saturation patrols in high crime areas throughout the city.

—The Scranton Police Department was awarded $93,898 and will use these funds to prevent staffing shortages by ensuring community engagement officers are present in city neighborhoods.

These officers will specialize in building trust and gaining community cooperation, including helping with crime reports, assisting with investigations, and other behaviors that deter violence.

The department will also educate officers on how to respond to those with substance use disorders, mental health needs, those experiencing homelessness or extreme poverty, veterans, people with disabilities, vulnerable youth and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or trafficking.

—Coolbaugh and Stroud townships, in partnership with Monroe County, were awarded $20,957 to hire a Crisis Intervention Coordinator for their new Crisis Intervention Team.

The Crisis Coordinator will serve as a liaison representing both law enforcement and other community partnerships to improve safety and overall quality of life in Monroe County.


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