Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $364,989)
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 city of Holyoke, through the Holyoke Police Department (HPD), will utilize its Fiscal Year 2009 Recovery Act JAG award to fill HPD's sworn officer roster. The major project goal is to maintain police officer positions that will be cut due to current economic conditions. Approximately 60 percent of the city of Holyoke's population is living with incomes at or below the poverty level. There has been an increase in the number of domestic violence cases and a rise in robberies and assaults. During 2008, the HPD responded to 48,312 call for service (average of 132 calls per day). Without a full staff of police officers and supervisors, the City of Holyoke citizens will suffer from unanswered assistance calls and a potential increase in crime. In addition, many businesses are closing due to the economic downturn. A failure to maintain staffing levels will threaten community safety and quality of life.