Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $459,820)
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 Joliet and Will County, as disparate jurisdictions, will share the Fiscal Year 2009 Recovery Act JAG award and use the funds to focus their combined efforts towards improving the digital video capabilities of both departments by purchasing in-car cameras and portable overt digital cameras for the Joliet City Center. The city of Joliet will serve as the fiscal agent and use their share of the funds to purchase 20 in-car cameras. The Will County Sheriff's Department will use their portion of the funds to purchase 46 in-car cameras. In addition, a server will be purchased to increase the storage capacity of the additional video output. These purchases will significantly improve the functioning of the criminal justice system in several specific ways: it will increase officer safety, increase officer performance, and strengthen local law enforcement training.
In an effort to deter crime and remove the 'place' from the crime triangle of offender, place, and victim, a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design plan was completed in October, 2008. In this plan, the Crime Prevention Officer delineated eight specific recommendations that would improve the environmental design and reduce crime. In response to the recommendations, a total of seven portable overt digital cameras will be purchased and installed in the City Center at pre-determined strategic locations designed to maximize coverage. The purchase of these cameras will not only fortify the efforts of officers, but also act as a deterrent for violent activity.