U.S. Attorneys Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi and William C. “Chad” Lamar of the Northern District of Mississippi announced April 1 that the U.S. Department of Justice is making $850 million available to help public safety agencies respond to the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump, will allow eligible state, local and tribal governments to apply immediately for these critical funds. The department is moving quickly to make awards, with the goal of having funds available for drawdown within days of the award.
“These funds will go directly to our local and tribal governments in order for them to secure essential supplies and equipment necessary to keep our citizens safe,” said Hurst. “I can think of no better way to fight this pandemic than to get this money out quickly and directly to our men and women on the front lines fighting this global crisis in our communities.”
“These funds will aid our state, local, and tribal partners during this pandemic to continue performing the necessary and important work that they do on a daily basis. We appreciate the efforts to make these funds immediately available because we are all in this fight together, and by continuing to work together, we will win,” remarked Lamar.
“This is an unprecedented moment in our nation’s history and an especially dangerous one for our front-line law enforcement officers, corrections officials and public safety professionals,” said Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “We are grateful to the Congress for making these resources available and for the show of support this program represents.”
The solicitation, posted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, will remain open for at least 60 days and be extended as necessary. OJP will fund successful applicants as a top priority on a rolling basis as applications are received. Funds may be used to hire personnel, pay overtime costs, cover protective equipment and supplies, address correctional inmates’ medical needs and defray expenses related to the distribution of resources to hard-hit areas, among other activities. Grant funds may be applied retroactively to Jan. 20, subject to federal supplanting rules.
Agencies that were eligible for the fiscal year 2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program are candidates for this emergency funding. A complete list of eligible jurisdictions and their allocations can be found at https://bja.ojp.gov/program/fy20-cesf-allocations.
For more information about the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, visit https://bja.ojp.gov/funding/opportunities/bja-2020-18553.
The websites for both U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Mississippi now contain a front page button where visitors can quickly report fraud to the office, to the National Center for Disaster Fraud or to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mississippians who believe they may have been the target or victim of a virus-related fraud scheme should visit www.justice.gov/SDMS and www.justice.gov/NDMS, and provide detailed information about their experience.