Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $220,167)
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 Stearns County and the cities of St. Cloud and Waite Park will use their Recovery Act JAG award in the amount of $220,167 to create a single network computer server for law enforcement records that all area law enforcement agencies will use to enter and access data. The immediate benefit to all agencies using the system will be a noticeable improvement in the ability to share information, which will improve both officer efficiency and officer safety. Improved records sharing will also impact public safety by bolstering clearance rates for reported crimes, and the system will become a technical advocate for crime victims. This system will also have the capability to capture and share law enforcement records for a neighboring metro city, located outside of the county, to improve overall efficiency with a future goal of incorporating the entire neighboring county. Up to 15 different law enforcement agencies will benefit from this shared network of information, and the system will serve as a catalyst to true regional collaboration.