Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $552,342)
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 Sebastian County and the cities of Fort Smith and Greenwood will use their Recovery Act JAG award to purchase equipment, provide training, and purchase supplies that will support the law enforcement missions of the police and sheriff's departments of the respective cities and county. The city of Fort Smith, serving as fiscal agent, will use their share of the grant ($508,187) to support the Fort Smith Police Department and purchase 5 new patrol cruisers, a dedicated S.W.A.T. transport vehicle, in-car video systems, computer equipment, a hostage negotiation throw phone, rifles and ballistic protective systems, and an evidence storage system.
Sebastian County will utilize $32,514 for the Sebastian County Sheriff's Department to purchase digital in-car camera systems to replace the old in-car camera systems that are currently in patrol cruisers. The upgrade to a digital in-car video system within its patrol will enhance video evidence of any events and be very useful in obtaining a myriad of convictions for both minor and major offenses units.
The city of Greenwood will utilize $11,641 for the Greenwood Police Department to purchase and deploy a video system that will help protect their officers and citizens. The Recovery Act JAG funds will be used to purchase 15 VIDMIC (a lapel microphone/video apparatus) systems for its officers. The primarily goal of the various projects will be to increase departmental service levels to the public and promote better officer safety.