Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $281,926)
This grant program is authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5) (the 'Recovery Act') and by 42 U.S.C. 3751(a). The stated purposes of the Recovery Act are: to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery; to assist those most impacted by the recession; to provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health; to invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits; and to stabilize state and local government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases. The Recovery Act places great emphasis on accountability and transparency in the use of taxpayer dollars.
Among other things, it creates a new Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board and a new website ' Recovery.gov ' to provide information to the public, including access to detailed information on grants and contracts made with Recovery Act funds.
The Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program funded under the Recovery Act is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. Recovery JAG funds support all components of the criminal justice system, from multi-jurisdictional drug and gang task forces to crime prevention and domestic violence programs, courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives. Recovery JAG funded projects may address crime through the provision of services directly to individuals and/or communities and by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice systems, processes, and procedures.
The disparate jurisdictions consisting of the county of Benton and the cities of Kennewick and Richland will share the Fiscal Year 2009 Recovery Act JAG award in the amount of $281,926 to improve technologies and purchase equipment. The city of Kennewick, serving as the fiscal agent, will use their allocations to purchase new ballistic helmets, upgrade mobile data terminals (MDTs) for patrol vehicles, purchase handheld data devices and printers for motor officers, provide additional scanners and printers inside patrol vehicles, implement the Opticom Priority Control System to increase traffic safety, and equip personnel with ruggedized mobile computers to use at crime scenes or other response situations.
The county of Benton will use their portion to purchase forensic computer software and hardware to conduct mobile phone forensic investigations and retrieve evidence of criminal activity; polygraph instrument and related equipment; digital portable radios for patrol deputies; and handheld portable breath alcohol testing instruments for patrol deputies. The city of Richland will use their funds to purchase digital photography to use for storing and retrieving evidence; extend the warranty for current MDT applications; purchase and install scanners and printers for patrol vehicles, and purchase new ballistic helmets.