Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $810,555)
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 cities of South Bend and Mishawaka and St. Joseph County have been designated as disparate jurisdictions under the Recovery Act JAG Program. Each jurisdiction will use the grant funds to purchase law enforcement equipment in an effort to improve officer safety, increase productivity, and allow general funds held by each department to help secure jobs. Serving as the fiscal agent, the city of South Bend will receive $591,705. The City of Mishawaka's will receive $129,689, and St. Joseph County's will receive $89,161. Equipment purchases will include in-car camera systems, bullet proof vests, and laptop computers for police cars. The laptops have improved the efficiency of officers by allowing them to prepare reports in the field which increases visibility. The laptop computers will allow officers the ability to obtain vital information on calls for service where there are know officer safety risks. When linked to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the National Crime Information Center, the data will allow officers will be able to access information on driving violations and outside jurisdiction warrants. By purchasing non-budgeted items through federal funding, each jurisdiction will be able to pool resources and preserve law enforcement jobs.