Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $2,067,129)
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) solicits applications for initiatives which assist law enforcement in rural states and rural areas. The program helps rural states and rural areas to prevent and combat crime, especially drug-related crime, and provides for national support efforts, including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address rural needs.
The Assistance to Rural Law Enforcement to Combat Crime and Drugs Program, administered by BJA, helps rural states and rural areas prevent and combat crime, especially drug-related crime, and provides for national support efforts, including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address rural needs. In addition, priority consideration will be given to local law enforcement agencies in rural areas where the unit of local government is not eligible to receive a direct allocation from the Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program or received a direct allocation that was $50,000 or less. Applicants were invited to submit a proposal under any one of the following categories to: (1) combat rural crime; (2) improve rural law enforcement investigations; (3) enhance rural detention and jail operations; (4) facilitate rural justice information sharing; or (5) develop a national training and technical assistance program.
Under Category 4, Mendocino County will use its award to facilitate rural justice information sharing through the purchase and installation of a fully integrated public safety software suite. The current system was installed in 1992 and is now considered a legacy system. Certain issues have also undermined the security and stability of the system. Grant funds will purchase software consisting of applications that allow efficient passage of data between modules and sharing of data between internal departments, other branches of the local government, and public safety agencies. Specific modules include computer-aided dispatch, a message switch for mobile data terminals, field-based reporting, a records management system, a jail management system, and web-based software to allow secure access to records from all modules that will aid in investigation, crime control, and prevention. The system will also include an additional application to integrate with Mendocino County's partners' software for the District Attorney's Office, the Probation Department, Juvenile Hall, and the Public and Alternate Defenders' Offices. The grant funds will also support the salaries and benefits of two technology specialists who will be responsible for the program management and implementation of the systems. The new software suite will streamline numerous internal processes, foster the sharing of information between law enforcement agencies, and ultimately enhance public safety.