Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $947,999)
The Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program (Byrne Competitive Program) will help communities improve the capacity of state and local justice systems and provide for national support efforts including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs. This competitive grant announcement focuses on initiatives in eight areas: 1) preventing and reducing violent crime through community-based data-driven approaches; 2) providing funding for neighborhood-based probation and parole officers; 3) reducing mortgage fraud and crime related to vacant properties; 4) hiring of civilian support personnel in law enforcement (training staff, analysts, dispatchers, etc.); 5) enhancing forensic and crime scene investigations; 6) improving resources and services for victims of crime; 7) supporting problem-solving courts; and 8) national training and technical assistance partnerships.
Under category 4, the city of North Charleston, in conjunction with the Mayor's Office, will use the grant award to hire civilian law enforcement staff. The goal of the project is to reduce the time that sworn law enforcement officers are removed from their patrols due to transporting prisoners to the jail, hospital, or court by forming a 'Prisoner Transport Team' composed of civilians, who are trained and certified as transport/detention officers. To accomplish this goal, the city of North Charleston will use the funds to hire a nine member civilian transport team that will allow law enforcement officers to remain on patrol on the streets of North Charleston. Currently, it takes an officer two hours to arrest an individual and transport them to the jail and to complete the necessary paperwork. This results in decreased manpower being on the streets of North Charleston during this two hour window. With the new hires, the officers will now be able to go back onto the streets faster. Funding will also be used to purchase a van to transport the prisoners and travel expenses for two mandated Department of Justice meetings.