Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $60,550)
The Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grants Program, administered by the Office of Justice Programs' (OJP's) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), furthers the Department's mission by assisting state and local jurisdictions in improving the criminal justice system and assisting communities in preventing drug abuse and crime. In fiscal year 2007, the Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grants Program will focus on funding local, regional, and national efforts within six major categories: 1) targeting violent crime; 2) preventing crime and drug abuse; 3) enhancing local law enforcement; 4) enhancing local courts; 5) enhancing local corrections and offender reentry; and 6) facilitating justice information sharing. All categories combat, address, or otherwise respond to precipitous or extraordinary increases in crime, or in a type or types of crime.
The City of Topeka will utilize its Fiscal Year 2007 Byrne Discretionary Category 1: Targeting Violent Crime Initiative (TVCI) funding to hire a Crime Analyst for the Topeka Police Gang Intelligence Unit. Last year, the City experienced increases in its crime statistics, as follows: murders by 28.6 percent (50 percent were gang related); robberies by 13.1 percent; and, rapes by 14 percent. From January through May 2007, violent crime increased again as the number of murders, robberies, rapes, and aggravated assaults went up. Topeka is plagued with eleven confirmed gangs with over 1,000 members and their activity accounts for a significant percentage of the violent crime in the city. The TVCI grant will enable the City of Topeka to provide salary and fringe benefits for the newly created Crime Analyst position. The Crime Analyst will track violent crime data, extract information, and disseminate it to the patrol officers as well as other county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Sharing this information will increase the effectiveness of law enforcement and the Crime Analyst position will enable gang unit officers to devote additional time on the streets. These combined efforts have been designed to reduce the incidents of violent crime.