Governor Haley Barbour awarded $2.5 million in federal grants to aid law enforcement and state agencies after Hurricane Katrina, with $600,000 in additional federal funds allocated to assist district attorney's offices on the Gulf Coast. The supplemental funding supports agencies by putting more police on the streets with the necessary equipment, protects law enforcement officers from local budget pressures and adds prosecutors to the state's justice system.
"In order for law enforcement agencies to protect our citizens and maintain order, they must be equipped with necessary tools and resources that increase the effectiveness of their operations," Governor Barbour said. "These grants will help ensure our law enforcement agencies are not hindered by funding challenges so they may continue to meet new public safety demands while preparing for future disasters."
"I appreciate our congressional delegation and federal officials for recognizing the importance of these agencies as we work together to rebuild South Mississippi and the Gulf Coast bigger and better than ever," Governor Barbour said.
More than 40 police departments and sheriff's offices in 27 counties will receive a total of nearly $2.5 million to improve public safety. An additional $600,000 will go toward three Gulf Coast district attorney's offices to reduce case loads and add local prosecutors. These include the Office of District Attorney Cono Carrana-2nd District (Hancock, Harrison, and Stone County); the Office of District Attorney Haldon Kittrell-15th District (Lawrence, Jefferson Davis, Marion, Lamar, and Pearl River County); and the Office of District Attorney Tony Lawrence-19th District (George, Greene, and Jackson County).
In May 2006, Governor Barbour announced the initial allocation of $58.25 million in federal grants to aid law enforcement and state agencies. More than 60 local governments and district attorney's offices in 18 counties received nearly $30 million to improve public safety. The remaining funds were used to fund a highway patrol training school; to provide urgent upgrades to Mississippi's Automated Fingerprint Identification System; to provide state support for an interoperable communications system for law enforcement and first responders; and to upgrade the search and rescue equipment of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, whose wildlife officers played a key role in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
To view a complete listing of the police departments and sheriff's offices that received funding, click here.