U.S. Attorney Trent Shores Announces $8.5 Million to Combat

U.S. Attorney Trent Shores Announces $8.5 Million to Combat Violent Crime in the Northern District of Oklahoma

(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney Trent Shores today announced more than $8.5 million in Department of Justice grants to fight and prevent violent crime in Oklahoma. The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, are part of more than $458 million in funding to support state, local and tribal law enforcement efforts to combat violent crime in jurisdictions across the United States.

“One of the fundamental missions of government is to protect its citizens and safeguard the rule of law,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “The Department of Justice will continue to meet this critical responsibility by doing everything within its power to help our state, local and tribal law enforcement and criminal justice partners fight crime and deliver justice on behalf of all Americans.”

The funding announced today continues the Trump Administration’s commitment to reducing crime and improving public safety.  In the two years before President Trump took office, America had experienced a precipitous rise in crime, particularly in serious violent crime.  The President elevated community safety to the top of his domestic agenda and crime rates have fallen steadily since.  Recent data from the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics for 2019 show a drop in crime and serious victimization for the third year in a row.  However, a number of cities are experiencing conspicuous countertrends.  Today’s grants will bolster crime-fighting efforts in those communities and in jurisdictions throughout the United States.

“Violence has become a tragic reality in too many of America’s communities,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan.  “Working with officials across the Trump Administration and with thousands of state, local and tribal crime-fighters across the country, the Department of Justice is leading the response to this urgent challenge.  OJP is pleased to make these resources available to support innovative, tested and diverse solutions to violent crime.”

“I’m thankful for the men and women of the Tulsa Police Department and District Attorneys’ Offices who are called to protect our communities and ensure the safety of all Oklahomans.  They are great partners, and I’m proud to see the Justice Department support them with more than $5.6 million in grants,” U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said.  “My hope is that this grant money will help Oklahoma officials fulfill their public safety mission by focusing on community outreach, mental health funding, violent crime investigations, research programs and more.”

Of the more than $458 million awarded nationwide, OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance made 1,094 grants totaling more than $369 million to support a broad range of initiatives, including efforts in enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, detention and rehabilitation.

OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded more than $10 million across 24 jurisdictions to intervene in and suppress youth gang activity as well as $1 million to the Institute for Intergovernmental Research to continue operating the National Gang Center. OJP’s National Institute of Justice awarded $7.8 million to fund research and evaluation on the prevention and reduction of violent crime.  OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics provided more than $69 million to strengthen the quality and accessibility of records within the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The following organizations received grant funding in Oklahoma:

BJA Community-Based Crime Reduction: CBCR leverages community knowledge and expertise to focus enforcement efforts on crime “hot spots” ‒ neighborhoods where crime is concentrated.  To generate long-term impacts, the program addresses a range of challenges.

  • City of Tulsa (TPD)- $900,000

BJA Justice Reinvestment Initiative: JRI provides funding for innovative and research-based responses that address a range of problems within the criminal justice system.  The Justice Reinvestment approach recognizes that every justice agency has a role to play in preventing crime, apprehending and prosecuting perpetrators, ensuring efficient and effective court and pretrial decision-making, facilitating appropriate sentencing and treatment and protecting community security.

  • Tulsa County District Attorney $976,980

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP): NARIP provides financial and technical assistance to states and tribes to improve the completeness, automation and transmittal of records to state and federal systems used by the NICS.

  • Oklahoma District Attorneys Council $2,795,947

National Criminal History Improvement Program: NCHIP enhances the quality, completeness, and accessibility of criminal history record information to state, territory and federal systems used by the NICS and ensures the nationwide implementation of criminal justice and noncriminal justice background check systems

  • Oklahoma District Attorneys Council $359,180

NIJ Research and Evaluation on Violent Crime ($7.3 million): The National Institute for Justice awarded grants to fund research and evaluation on the prevention and reduction of violent crime.

  • Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences- Drugs and Crime $587,219

“The Tulsa Police Department is thrilled to have been awarded the Community-Based Crime Reduction Grant.  The Department worked in partnership with Tulsa Housing Authority to author the grant,” Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said.  “The Tulsa Police Department plans to use these funds to assist with youth enrichment, crime prevention, community education and violent crime investigations.  Police departments rely upon funding from our federal partners to carry out existing programs as well as pilot programs and initiatives.  TPD will build on our collaborative efforts with partners across the community!”

BJA Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant: Byrne JAG supports a broad range of initiatives that work to prevent and reduce violent crime.  It also provides funds to help crime victims and assist efforts in enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, detention and rehabilitation.

  • State of Oklahoma- $2,469,111
  • Tulsa County- $20,373
  • Tulsa City Municipal- $322,587
  • City of Broken Arrow- $11,382

BJA Project Safe Neighborhoods: The efforts of Project Safe Neighborhoods include addressing criminal gangs and the felonious possession and use of firearms.  PSN collaborates with local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as the communities they serve, in a unified approach led by the U.S. Attorney in all 94 districts.

Oklahoma Northern $103,782- Oklahoma District Attorney’s Council

“As a prosecutor for the past 30 plus years, I have longed to tackle issues where the criminal justice system and those with mental health needs intersect. This award from the Bureau of Justice Assistance is certainly a positive step forward in our effort to develop innovative and research-based solutions to this expanding area of the law,” Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said.  “We are partnering with Family and Children Services to examine and implement best practices so that individuals suffering from mental illness might be diverted away from criminal prosecution, and towards restorative treatment options.  I am certainly appreciative of US Attorney Trent Shores and his tireless efforts to help secure this award on behalf of all citizens in the Northern District of Oklahoma.  I am equally confident that the Tulsa County District Courts under the leadership of Judge William LaFortune are also appreciative of this allocation of resources to address this need in our community.”

“As a prosecutor for the past 30 plus years, I have longed to tackle issues where the criminal justice system and those with mental health needs intersect.  This award from the Bureau of Justice Assistance is certainly a positive step forward in our effort to develop innovative and research-based solutions to this expanding area of the law,” Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said.  “We are partnering with Family and Children Services to examine and implement best practices so that individuals suffering from mental illness might be diverted away from criminal prosecution, and towards restorative treatment options.  I am certainly appreciative of US Attorney Trent Shores and his tireless efforts to help secure this award on behalf of all citizens in the Northern District of Oklahoma.  I am equally confident that the Tulsa County District Courts under the leadership of Judge William LaFortune are also appreciative of this allocation of resources to address this need in our community.”

“As the state administering agency for the National Criminal History Improvement Project (NCHIP) and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP), the District Attorneys Council is elated to receive notice of these grant funds,” DAC Executive Coordinator Trent H. Baggett said.  “In 2020, NCHIP funds were used to help fourteen (14) law enforcement departments obtain Livescan digital fingerprinting devices that allows the electronic transmission of fingerprints of criminal offenders to be used nationwide for criminal and noncriminal background checks.  The NARIP funds helped the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) with their Criminal Record Improvement Project.  That project is vital considering the OSBI is the preeminent agency in Oklahoma for the collection of criminal offender records.  The DAC is very appreciative of the efforts of everyone who played a role in seeing to it Oklahoma receives these funds.”

STL.News References:

  1. Trent Shores Wikipedia Page
  2. Oklahoma Resource Page
  3. Can also be viewed on USA News Today

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